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Patriotic society paves way for new monuments at Veterans Plaza

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Shelly Birkelo
October 10, 2012

— If the weather cooperates, the Janesville Patriotic Society on Veterans Day will dedicate two new monuments at its Medal of Honor Walkway in Veterans Plaza at Traxler Park.

Construction is under way on the monuments honoring Gold Star Mothers and Purple Heart recipients, said Tom Stehura, society president.

The monuments will cost about $12,000, and the money already is in hand, he said.

"When we put in the original walkway, there was a bit of money on each purchase of bricks put aside for improvements, so we've accumulated the funds necessary to complete this part of the project," Stehura said.

The Medal of Honor walkway was dedicated in 2005 but was running out of space for bricks. That prompted society members to look for other ways for people to recognize military veterans and their families.

"We decided to honor any mother who lost a child as a result of enemy hostility or after effects of that hostility," Stehura said.

The Purple Heart monument is to remember those who were wounded or killed while serving with the U.S. military, Stehura said.

Bricks can be purchased as soon as order forms are ready. Forms will be available at the VFW Kienow-Hilt Post No. 1621, 1015 Center Ave., and the Rock County Veterans Service Office in the courthouse, 51 S. Main St., he said.

A brick walkway will lead to granite monuments. The Purple Heart monument will be black, and the Gold Star Mothers monument will be light gray, Stehura said.

Gold Star Mother bricks with three lines of text will sell for $60 each.

Purple Heart bricks can be ordered in two sizes—4-by-8 inches or 8-by-8 inches—and cost between $60 and $110 depending on size and lines of text.

Stehura said Mike Eggleston, Mansur Trucking, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Lycon/Janesville Sand and Gravel, Gramke Monument, Janesville Brick and Tile and Marling Lumber kept down the cost of the monuments with donations of time and materials.

Most cities have some sort of veterans park dedicated specifically to veterans, Stehura said.

"These monuments will provide a place where people can go to reflect on the service and contributions made by the veterans from this area," he said.


 

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