Vets get preview of memorial
A day after county lake residents questioned the project at a county commission meeting, Marion VFW members were mesmerized Tuesday when Julie Hess showed concept drawings of a veterans’ memorial proposed for Marion County Park and Lake.
The Marion native, who now lives in Salina, envisions a 50-foot wide by 50-foot long structure using a retaining wall as the main support with a four- by five-foot granite panel, a curved wall with seven flagpoles, along with a brick walkway with six benches.
A handicapped parking area would accommodate six cars, and a gravel parking area would accommodate those able to walk to the memorial.
Lake supervisor Isaac Hett pointed out that portions of an oval drive around the site also could be used for parking.
The memorial would be designed to have a low profile so as not to interfere with lake residents’ views of the lake.
“We’re trying to compromise,” Hess said. “We’re trying to make everyone happy.”
“You’re not going to do that,” county commissioner David Crofoot said.
Some of the 18 onlookers asked about lake visitors congregating at the memorial.
“I would like to think it would be a place of gathering,” Hess said.
Hess offered fundraising tips for the project as well.
Hess said the post could sell bricks with donor names engraved on them. Personalized bricks could be laid out on a walkway or wall near the monument.
Selling 300 bricks at $100 each would raise $24,000.
Donors also could buy personalized benches.
A memorial dinner could be held, with community members donating food and drinks.
A walkathon also could raise money.
Hess’s concept design is entitled “Marion County War Memorial.”
Some veterans said they would prefer the memorial to be named “Marion County Veterans Memorial,” so it would include all veterans, regardless of whether they served in a war or simply served in the military.
Hess asked audience members whether they wanted to sort veterans’ names by wars, branches of service, or how.
Former county commissioner Dan Holub said if it was made too complicated, it would be too easy to make mistakes.
The consensus was to focus on individual names.
VFW members and other people who want to see where the memorial will be will go to the lake’s circle drive west of the Civilian Conservation Corps statue at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Painted markings on the ground will show two potential positions for the memorial.
Last modified Feb. 9, 2022