HARTINGTON — Design plans are well underway for the new Hartington Area Veterans Memorial to be located in downtown Hartington across from the Historic Hartington Hotel, with the entrance of the memorial to be located on the west end of the memorial off of Broadway Ave.
The main attraction of the memorial will be up to six granite monuments placed in the center of the memorial with the veteran’s names engraved and listed in alphabetical order on the monuments.
Since the process of gathering veteran names for the monuments will be lengthy, the goal now is to get a head start on the process and begin acquiring the veteran names now.
Currently, an effort is being made to come up with a complete list of all living and deceased veterans that have any affiliation at all with the Hartington area.
The initial veteran names are being compiled from records of area cemeteries where veterans are buried and the three local veteran organizations’ membership records.
Marilyn Schumacher is heading up the committee to locate both the living and deceased veteran names, and when this list is compiled, an effort will be made to contact the living veteran or a relative of a deceased veteran in order to have the veteran sponsored and their name included on the monument wall.
“We believe the list of veterans will grow beyond the sources we are exploring, as veterans from outside the local area surface that are not on our initial list, and hopefully, more names are made available from relatives and friends who know of a veteran and they want to sponsor them and have their name included on a monument,” said Schumacher.
To be considered a veteran, one (man or women) must have served and been honorably discharged from either the regular Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Merchant Marines and Coast Guard or had served in any of the National Guard and Reserve units.
Each name to be engraved on the veterans’ memorial wall will require a sponsor and a donation of $150 per name in order to help fund the cost of the entire project.
The sponsorships are expected to come from living veterans or family members, relatives and friends of a deceased veteran. The period that is expected to cover is from the Civil War period up to the present time. A separate monument or two will be placed to provide for all future veteran names to be added many years into the future.
Besides the $150 donation per veteran name, the veteran’s full first name, middle initial and last name, as well as which branch of the service they served in, needs to be included. A form has been developed to be filled out and mailed in to provide the needed information, as well as a contact so if there are questions, the donor can be reached.
If someone is sponsoring more than one veteran, one should include all the veterans on the form and make out just one check to cover all the veterans. If one is sponsoring more than three veterans, simply include their information on a separate piece of paper and include with the form and check.
“We expect that a number of veterans will not have a sponsor because no relative or friend surfaces to sponsor the veteran. In this case, we are asking people if they would consider adopting and sponsoring a veteran in order that no veteran is left behind. A list of these veterans will be available to pick from and sponsor,” Dan Kathol said.
This sponsorship form is located inside this week’s Cedar County News, as well as on the new Hartington Veterans Facebook page. Ongoing updates on the project will be posted in the News and on the new Facebook page.