Large crowd expected Memorial Day
By John Faucher
A group of onlookers gathered on site at the New London Veterans Memorial site Friday May 19, as workers installed several large granite walls containing the names of more than 650 area veterans.
Jim Jaeger, secretary for the New London Veterans Memorial Foundation, said there is room for an additional 500 names on the wall.
He said foundation members would continue fundraising efforts and selling spaces on the wall until its completion later this year. Jaeger said they are planning to add the second group of names by the end of October.
A dedication ceremony is tentatively planned for Aug. 26.
Jaeger said about $200,000 of the $250,000 goal has been raised for the memorial since fundraising efforts began in early 2015.
Initially foundation members anticipated the project would take four to five years to complete.
“The community has been very supportive. Really, it is an exciting time here. I think the whole community can be proud,” said Jaeger.
Greg Mathewson from Mathewson Monuments worked on installing the granite podium on Tuesday, May 23, while crews from Sager Services Landscaping put the final touches on brick pavers around the walls.
Local veterans’ organizations will be holding New London’s Memorial Day observance at the Veterans Memorial site on Monday, May 29 at 9:15 a.m.
“We’re expecting a pretty big crowd for it,” said Jaeger. “Quite a few folks with service members listed on the wall will be there.”
The New London Veterans Memorial project began in October 2014, when a group of local veterans approached the city of New London requesting permission to raise funds and build a memorial.
After researching several possible locations, the group selected Taft Park on the north side of the Wolf River in downtown New London.
The wall will serve as a permanent memorial for all veterans who served in the armed forces, during both times of peace and war.
The New London Veterans Memorial Foundation has two weeks remaining until its drawing for a $2,500 vacation giveaway. Tickets are available at Festival Foods and the New London Area Chamber of Commerce office for $5 each or three for $10.
Hilby’s Restaurant and Sports Bar will also hold a benefit golf outing this summer for the Veterans Memorial.