The dedication for the new memorial complex was held on July 4, and as anticipated, many questions have arisen since then. We will try to answer them to the best of our ability.
1. Are the memorials completed? No, there will be two granite columns placed on either side of the memorial walls. They will each hold a bronze eagle, one looking left and one looking right, representing both peacetime and war. We will also be installing lighting for both memorials and trim along the bottom of the walls. We hope to have that completed by the end of July
2. What is the significance of the Ira Five bricks in the middle of the complex? The five young men from Ira all joined the war effort shortly after World War I was declared. The centerpiece represents small town America and the sacrifices it takes to win wars.
3. Why are some of the bricks red? The red bricks represent Jasper County residents who were killed in action, missing in action or died of wounds during a wartime period.
4. Is that the Freedom Rock? No, the Freedom Rock is located in Sully. The Jasper Memorial Rock on the courthouse lawn will be painted on July 15. As far as we know, Jasper County is the only county to have two large rocks painted in honor of all veterans.
5. Can I buy a brick now? Sorry, not at this time. This project took close to a year to coordinate and raise the funds necessary to make it happen. In the future, there may be opportunities to purchase bricks in honor of Jasper County veterans.
6. Why did the bricks have to be purchased? The total cost of the project was a little over $106,000. The bricks sold accounted for $60,000 of that total. (The KIA bricks were placed at no charge). The additional funds were raised by the memorial committee through sponsors, cookbook and T-shirt sales, poker runs, pork and beef dinners, etc. No tax dollars were used for the memorials.
7. Where are the sponsors listed? We are in the process of assembling the final sponsor list so that it can be placed in a prominent position on the memorial complex.
8. Why weren’t all veterans of Jasper County listed? The answer to that question is twofold. There are several thousand veterans through the years that have served out of Jasper County. It would be virtually impossible to insure that all veterans would be accounted for and included.
The second reason is privacy. Some veterans do not wish to have their names placed on any form of memorial. We respected that wish and decided to have all brick orders submitted voluntarily. Therefore, the black granite memorial and the memorial rock, both nameless, are placed and dedicated in honor of all veterans who served.
In the end, our committee did the best we could with the timeframe and funds available. It simply isn’t possible to convey the proper thanks to all veterans through bricks and stones. We hope that these memorials will serve as a constant reminder of the sacrifices made by the men and women of Jasper County who have served our country in both peacetime and war.
Jasper County Veterans
Memorial Committee Bob
Thorson, Marvin Morris, Keith Thorpe, Marta Ford, Wallace Schermerhorn,
Christopher Chartier and Doug Bishop