KEARNEY, Neb. – The Central Nebraska Veterans Home now under construction in Kearney will have a huge beautiful Veterans Memorial thanks to the efforts of Central Nebraska Communities that understand the sacrifices made by those who served in all branches of the armed forces.
The city of Kearney and several local organizations and corporations have already pledged nearly $850,000 toward the two-million-dollar project. Plans for a statewide fund drive were announced this week by the organizers of the project, which is under the umbrella of the Kearney Area Community Foundation.
Kearney chairman Bob Harpst said that the Central Nebraska Veterans Memorial Committee was established for the sole purpose of building and maintaining a fitting and eternal memorial to Nebraska’s Veterans.
The memorial is to be located at the new Veterans home, which will be ready for occupancy later this fall. “It will serve as a tribute and as an integral part of the Veterans complex and the location and design of the memorial and site are ready for construction” Harpst said.
The Veterans Memorial was designed to provide an educational and historical perspective to honor those who have served in all military branches of service from the Civil War to present day, including the Cold War. The design shows seven 16ft concrete monoliths, 8 ft wide covered with granite tiles. Each will have the symbol of one of the branches of service. Included are: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and National Guard. An eighth monument of equal size will represent POW/MIA soldiers from all branches. There will be a second ring of monuments located behind the service monuments and trailing down each side of the memorial, which are the Conflict Monuments, which memorialize all conflicts since the Civil War.
A plaza in the center is open for viewers and those who want to rest and meditate with a view of the monuments, enhanced by a backdrop of United States flags. The turf and concrete walkways will be stepped to create an amphitheater style of seating. The entire area will be landscaped to match the overall Veterans Facility site. Overall dimensions of the Memorial are 173 ft wide by 100 ft deep and will be located in the front and the right side of the Central Nebraska Veterans Home located at 56th St. and Cherry Avenue in Kearney.
Fundraising for the Memorial includes an endowment that will cover upkeep in perpetuity. Contributions will be immortalized at the memorial entrance with a donor wall. Donor levels are: Purple Heart, $5,000 to $9,999; Bronze Star, $10,000 to $24,999; Silver Star, $25,000 to $49,999, Medal of Honor, $50,000 to $99,999; Presidential, $100,000 and over.
Donations are being accepted at the Kearney Area Community Foundation, 412 west 48th street Suite #12, Kearney, NE 68845. Website: www.kearneyfoundation.org. For depictions and information see Central Nebraska Veterans Memorial on Facebook or www.CNVM.org.