CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Mother Nature has pushed back the dedication date of Carl Junction’s first Veterans Memorial located in Memorial Park to next year.
The rainy fall season has caused some construction delays with the estimated $40,000 memorial, which will now be dedicated on Memorial Day instead of Nov. 11. The city budgeted $50,000 for the project by setting aside funds over the years. Any leftover money from the project will stay in the Park Fund.
The memorial is being built on the east side of Memorial Park along Summit Street. Seven flagpoles with lights have been erected on a round concrete base that will also feature corresponding bronze medallions, a bronze plaque and four metal park benches. It will also be accessible to the disabled.
The dedication plaque reads, “This memorial honors all American veterans who, although separated by generations, shared a common, undeniable goal, to protect our country’s freedom. The memories of these American veterans will continue to live on whenever and wherever democracy exists. The American veteran — forever a symbol of heroism, sacrifice, loyalty and freedom.”
The construction is being completed by Asbell Trucking, and the company broke ground in September. Steve Lawver, city administrator, said construction on the memorial has been progressing nicely, despite the setback, and only a few more steps remain.
“They’ve got to mount the benches on the outside ring,” he said. “They have to seal the concrete and attach the bronze plaques. The finished dirt work has been done. It’s actually been fairly quick.”
On the date of the dedication ceremony, Lawver said the city would like to get the local veterans, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars involved.
Lawver served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps from 1977 to 1983, and his father was a doctor on an aircraft carrier in the Navy during World War II.
“I loved being in the military,” Lawver said. “Especially with the Marine Corps, it’s a brotherhood. There’s a camaraderie there that you don’t find in the civilian world.”
The city of Carl Junction has been discussing the project for decades, back when former city Councilwoman Pat Smith proposed the idea in the early 2000s. But the project never found traction.
Lawver said getting the Veterans Memorial established has been a goal of his for 17 years, when he first joined the city as an economic developer. Several City Council members are also veterans, including Rick Flinn, Roger Spencer, Richard Zaccardelli and Mark Satterlee.
“This is definitely one of my proudest accomplishments since I’ve been with the city,” Lawver said. “For me, it’s a way for me to honor the rest of our military veterans.”
The monument’s placement is ideal because Memorial Park was donated to the city by Everett and Bess Shira in 1947 as a dedication to veterans in Carl Junction.
“Everett had served in the Navy during WWII,” Lawver said. “They gave that land to the city to begin with a memorial, and it’s never had a memorial on it.”