Campaign kicked off to raise funds for Clear Lake veterans memorial

CLEAR LAKE — North-central Iowans honored veterans with several Veterans Day ceremonies around the area on Saturday. In Clear Lake, not only did they honor veterans with a luncheon, the Clear Lake VFW Post 4868 kicked off a $100-thousand capital campaign to fund a veterans memorial to be located in the courtyard of their downtown post.

The memorial consists of black granite slabs, with two exterior walls of the post holding three slabs of granite engraved with the names of both living and deceased veterans. Post commander Mike Nelson says the project will be done in two phases. He says the first phase will put up marble tablets with the names, with the second phase being more aesthetics. “We’re going to brick in all the flagpole bases, and come up with some kind of statues and/or engravings that will go on the wall.”

 

In addition to the walls, the design includes limestone or marble benches that will be built around three flag poles outside the building’s entrance, with the center pole featuring service emblems. Nelson hopes to wrap up the fundraising by Memorial Day and have construction of the memorial done by next fall. He says, “Ideally, I’d like to see the construction start in May, and wind up hopefully later part of July and August, with the dedication by Veterans Day of next year. That kind of gives us a little bit of a cushion if things fall behind, that will at least give us time to catch up.”

The establishment of the memorial at the VFW post comes after veterans unsuccessfully asked city officials to approve the idea of a memorial at the Sea Wall, with later ideas of placing it in other locations around the community falling through. Nelson says VFW members were very receptive to the idea of having the memorial at the post. He says they tried to work with the city for about three years, and they were going nowhere. “One of our members at our monthly meeting came up with the idea that we have it at the post home. The next month we put that as a motion, and it was unanimous.”

Nelson says this will be a memorial to honor veterans from the Clear Lake and Ventura areas. He says they encourage anybody in those areas that have any kinds of ties to veterans in those communities to enroll in the memorial.

Those wanting to make contributions to the memorial capital campaign can send their contribution to the Clear Lake VFW, care of Veterans Memorial, PO Box 191, Clear Lake, zip code 50428. Those wanting to have names included on the memorial can also contact the Clear Lake VFW.

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