Written by Danielle Wagner, Anchor/Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
OELWEIN (KWWL) -
After five years of planning and fundraising, a World War I and World War II monument was installed at the Fayette County Area Veterans Memorial in Oelwein.
"We had a Korean War and a Vietnam War monument here, but nobody has every addressed the World War I and World War II people, so a bunch of us got together, decided we needed to do that. That was five years ago," said Jake Blitsch with the Veterans Park Committee.
A crew with Lewiston Monument Company out of Minnesota installed the World War I and World War II monument, which is an obelisk design standing 20 feet tall.
"We wanted something iconic. Something that would really stand out. Something a lot of other veteran parks didn't have," said Blitsch.
The Fayette County Area Memorial got started in 1999 with a donation by the McNamara family. It's located right along Highway 3 in Oelwein.
Besides the new monument, there's tributes to other wars, statues representing the branches of the military and a walkway with these engraved bricks. It's the bricks that paid for the new $50,000 monument.
"The community's been extremely supportive of this whole thing. We're thrilled with that, and the business people, I can't say enough about how wonderful they've been to us," said Blitsch.
Besides the installation of the World War I and World War II monument, the plan is to add a cement area around it with a brick sidewalk. Part of the that sidewalk will be for those Killed In Action.
Jake Blitsch said seeing the monument finally in its place is worth the five-year wait.
"It's everything we thought it would be," he said.
As of now, this monument is expected to be the last major monument added to the Fayette County Area Memorial.
You can still purchase engraved bricks to surround the monuments. For more information, call Jake Blitsch at 319-283-4546.
The first stop was the World War II Memorial, where one family was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their veteran, Lyle Swan. They drove all night from Kentucky and Tennessee just to see him arrive.More >>
The first stop was the World War II Memorial, where one family was anxiously awaiting the arrival of their veteran, Lyle Swan. They drove all night from Kentucky and Tennessee just to see him arrive, and cheered as he rolled close.More >>
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