A luncheon honoring area veterans and raising funds for the Veteran’s Tribute on the KC Campus was held Friday, June 21 with over $22,000 being donated and pledged toward the project. On display at the luncheon were bronze granite seals of the five branches of military service: Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Air Force that will be installed at the Tribute.
It is the hopes of college administrators and committee members that dedication of Phase I will be this summer. This phase includes two 6’ x 70’ walls with mounted black granite plates to accommodate 25,200 names; a bronze sculpture of an American Eagle with a 10’ wing span mounted at the center of the Warriors Court; and the mounted seals of the five branches of the military services; American Flags and cherry trees will be installed on the perimeter of the Tribute.
Phase II will consist of additional walls to accommodate veterans names and their branches of service up to 150,000 veterans. Finally, Phase III will consist of the construction of an educational facility. This one million dollar project is well on its way to completion
This public project is widely endorsed in a highly patriotic region of dedicated Americans. The Veterans Tribute will be a noble site to honor and pay tribute to the veterans who have and are serving this great nation. The Trustees of Kaskaskia College are very supportive and have dedicated campus land for the site of the Tribute. This project has several unique features, including: living and deceased names of past and present veterans along with their branch of service inscribed on granite walls, recognizes all honorable discharged veterans as heroes and patriots, an education facility for students to learn about the history of our democracy, and this will be the only known veterans’ honors project of its kind on a college or university campus. The project cost is totally private funded.
Pledges and donations were accepted by the following individuals: Dr. Dee Boswell, George Evans, Robert Gaffner, Tom and Karen Walsh, the Centralia Moose Riders, Jim Murphy, the Centralia American Legion Post 446, Bob Schueler, Travis Henson, Dr. Jim and Roxie Underwood, Roy Aarons, Tom and Barb Guebert, Sharon and Don Berdeaux, Paul Schippel,
Tommy & Kellie Henegar, Peggy Webber, Craig and Donna Roper,
Debbie Jones, and Donna Matanane.
Project co-chairs Mr. Jim Beasley and Travis Henson and Dr. Dee Boswell described the project to the audience and provided an update on the progress to date. KC President Dr. Jim Underwood presented an end of the year report on the College operations. The Reverend Tommy Henegar presented a very emotional story of his father and father-in-law’s military experience.