Veterans' Memorial Project
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Information on Veterans Memorial Proposal
When 2006 rolled around planning, for a Veterans Memorial really got the steam and strength to move forward. It was January after some meetings between the Legion, VFW and AMVETS it was decided to hold a public informational meeting at Lincoln Land Community College on the evening of January 10th. As a matter of record the concept of a veterans memorial for Litchfield had been studied some years before but because of funding it was put on the back burner for further study. It was at the informational meeting that their was a concensus shown that the public desired for us to continue on with our planning. A coalition of veterans representitives of the veteran organizations in Litchfield hosted the meeting including commander John Farmer from VFW Post 3912, commander Ray Kellenberger of American Legion Post 436, and commander Harry Odle of AMVETS Post 15.
It was at this informational meeting that former Hillsboro Mayor Bernard Rappe and County Clerk Sandy Leitheiser spoke to those in attendance expressing their help and assistance in our planning stages and final erection of the memorial. Rappe went over in detail how Hillsboro had developed all planning and ideas for the success of thier project. They built their memorial in just a few short months. He said they had the full cooperation from their city government, the labors, the organizations, and had a good response from the citizens to serve on the committees involved.
At a luncheon hosted by American Legion Post 436 a search committee was formed that would select a steering committee for the Veterans Memorial. On the search committee that was selected were
the following individuals Mike Juenger, Terry Plummer, Paul Hampton, Lowell Smith and Jim Benton. At a later date the search committee announced who they had selected for the sterring committee for the building of a Veterans Memorial. The committee chosen were Ray Kellenberger, Will Tackaberry, Dorothy Mansholt, Susan Griffin, Jim Ostermann and Bill Rogers.
At the first meeting of the steering committee, Ray Kellenberger was selected to be the Chairman, Dorothy Manshold and Susan Griffin would be committee to seek funding. Jim Ostermann would be chairman for selecting a memorial site, John Galer would be Publicity director and Will Tackaberry would search out names for the memorial. It was decided to hold meeting every two weeks and that the public would be updated regularily as to progress being made on the project. At a later meeting it was decided that the Library Park would be the ideal location for such memorial. The reasons being that it is a central location in our community, highly accessible, established park, landscape, parking and availability of utilities. It was agreed by the committee to set up a meeting with the Litchfield City Council and present the proposal of a veterans memorial for Litchfield. A meeting was set on the agenda for April 4, 2006. Jim Ostermann and Dorothy Manshold would be speaking for the committee. At the council meeting the mayor stated only one person would be speaking on behalf of the committee and that being Jim Ostermann. Jim passed out flyers to the council members and to those in attendance and addressed the council with the committee's proposal stating that Library Park was the first choice for the site. Veterans and citizens filled the council chambers that evening showing support for the memorial. After Jim's presentation Mayor Tom Jones reported to those in attendance that he was sending the matter over to the Public Service committee for further study and await their response and would have an answer to the memorial committee by the May council meeting.
At the present time a Post Office box has been set up to take donations. The box number is
P.O. Box 593, Litchfield Il. 62056. donations should be made out to the Litchfield Veterans Memorial Fund. A bank account has been established at the Litchfield Bank and Trust.
The veterans memorial committee finds it most commendable that WAM USA is helping with a web site for the memorial project. Additional information concerning the memorial proposal citizens may contact Ray Kellenberger at 324 5796 or send letters to P.O. Box 593, Litchfield Il . 62056.