With the , the committee behind are looking ahead—very far ahead.
Far enough to envision 60 tablets on site.
The memorial, which is rightly located at , is dedicated to veterans of all six branches of the armed forces. Any who wish, can purchase a name engraving on a tablet to be displayed to all who visit.
A volunteer architect put together an elaborate final plan, which would reshape the current tablet and statue site into a large teardrop and, in addition to eventually being home to 60 tablets, add six columns—representing all branches of the military with their respective crests and hymns engraved.
The goal of the proposed final plan is to not only honor all veterans, but also create a regional draw, according to Jim Topitzhofer, director of .
However, with nearly $300,000 already spent on the memorial, to construct the final plan in its entirety another $455,000 would need to be put in. Topitzhofer was also hoping that the city would front the money to the organization, which would pay the city back with future name engraving revenues.
Although all funds for the memorial are raised through donations and through the sale of engravings, was uncomfortable with this.
“My feeling is that most people jump on these things when they’re brand new,” he said. “You’re making an assumption that everyone is going to come running [and pay for an engraving] … People think it should be free … [and a total of $755,000 is] a lot of money.”
Topitzhofer said the plan may be a bit “too grandiose” and there may be ways to cut back on costs by eliminating some of the landscaping plans.
, a veteran himself, said calling such a memorial “too grandiose” was nonsense.
“If you’re going to do a veterans memorial then don’t cut it short,” he said. “Make it what it should be.”
said, "I like the concept. I’m really excited and I think it looks pretty."
also suggested that the design include landscaping that would be more visible from Portland Avenue to help those passing by see it.
However, all members agreed in possibly scaling back the landscaping to manage costs. Topitzhofer agreed to go back to the architect to see what can be reduced and will present revised plans to the council at a future date.