After a decade of soliciting funds to build the Veterans Memorial in Waterford Township, a dedication ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 4 to celebrate its completion.
The Veterans Memorial is located along Crescent Lake Road near the Crescent Hills Cemetery, just behind the Waterford Township Library.
Over 500 invitations have been sent to contributors and groups around the area.
The ceremony will commence with a color guard comprised of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post No. 1008 members, Waterford Township police and fire personnel, Knights of Columbus members, and the Civil Air Patrol filing in as bagpipes play.
Waterford Township Trustee “Doc” Maloney, chaplain of VFW Post No. 1008, will give the invocation, followed by recognitions and speeches by township dignitaries. There will also be a flag-raising.
The project began in 2005 among a handful of veterans who formed the township’s Veterans Memorial Committee.
“It’s taken (almost) 10 years to construct it,” said Ralph Wozniak, a member of the committee. “People have fallen on hard times so it’s been difficult to raise money. It has taken time.”
The stainless steel monument stands about 14-feet-tall and is designed as a five-sided tower resembling a pentagon that is adorned with the emblem of each branch of the military. The crowning touch on the apex of the tower is the country’s emblem, an eagle.
A granite wall forms a half-circle around the monument. Four plaques line the walls, each recognizing major donors. Depending on their contribution, their names are placed on either a platinum gold, silver, or bronze plaque.
Brick pavers — which were sold at $50 each to defray costs and are still for sale — form sidewalks leading up to the monument.
“We’ve installed 1,000 bricks and each is engraved with a veteran’s name,” Wozniak said. “While they’re not limited to veterans, 99 percent are for veterans.”
In addition to proceeds from brick sales, the Veterans Memorial is also funded by citizen and local business donations. Much of the money was gleaned through fund-raisers.
Wozniak said that although the monument is essentially complete, the committee is soliciting $1,000 for a state of Michigan flag and flagpole; $3,000 for concrete curbs to separate the grass from the commemorative brick pavers; $2,400 for four more benches along the sidewalks; and funding for concrete curbs and asphalt for the parking pad at the cemetery side of the memorial.