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By Carmen Ensinger
Good news for those wondering about the status of the planned Veterans Memorial Walkway which will be placed on the Courthouse lawn. The five large granite stones have arrived in the United States and are currently at the laser engravers in Carlinville, putting the project one step closer to becoming a reality.
“We were kind of surprised by their arrival because we had been told there was going to be a delay,” Project Coordinator Bernie Faul said. “We wanted the black granite stones and the only two places you can get those is in either Europe or India.”
When Faul first ordered the five stones, their estimated arrival date was originally supposed to be November. This, however, was before the war between Russia and the Ukraine broke out.
“These stones came from India and I don’t know how the war would affect them, but they told us that because of everything that was going on, we were probably looking at February, then they pushed it back to March,” Faul said. “Then, I saw Bill Stendeback at the Eldred Legion the other day and he told me the stones had come in and were at the laser printers.”
Stendeback is who Faul used to order the stones through. She gave him a drawing of what she wanted on the five stones and he passed it onto the printers. There will be two smaller stones and three large stones.
The three large stones will stand, when on the base, approximately five feet tall while the two smaller ones will stand approximately four feet tall. They are all approximately nine inches deep and 2.5 feet wide. Engraved on the back of the stones will be the names of those who have served their country, past and present.
The stones will sit on the east side of the courthouse lawn north of the Thomas Carlin statue.
The cost of the stones alone was approximately $36,000. This does not include shipping, the laser printing on the front or the engraving of the names on the back of the stones. Estimated total cost of the project when it was first proposed was around $250,000
“We still have about $80,000 we need to raise, and we have quite a few fundraisers planned to help with that,” Faul said. “We have a couple chicken dinners coming up and I want to try to do a fried pork steak dinner but I’m still working on that. I’m trying to work on a bingo, but there is a glitch with the state with that.”
An association has to be established for five years before one can be granted a two-time bingo license in the state of Illinois. The Veteran’s Committee at the Eldred Legion, where the bingo would be ran through, hasn’t been an organization for five years yet.
In the meantime, once a month, a breakfast is served at the Eldred American Legion with proceeds going towards the Veteran’s Memorial Walkway and just recently a rib-eye cookout was held in Carrollton to benefit the memorial.
The breakfast at the Eldred Legion is this Sunday, Nov. 26, from 6:30 – 10 a.m. Bacon, two eggs, potatoes and toast for $8 with proceeds going towards the Veteran’s Freedom Walkway.