Assumption VFW and American Legion posts will dedicate the Assumption Veterans Memorial on Sunday, May 25, at 2 p.m. in downtown Assumption.
In early 2011, the Assumption VFW and American Legion Posts decided that a fitting memorial should be built to honor the people from Assumption who served our country.
A committee was appointed consisting of members from both organizations: Norman Bethard, John Bond, James Bugg, Ron Mink, Carl Puckett, and Bill Sullivan.
Fundraising began in fall 2012.
“We thought we could do it for $80,000, but we wondered whether a community of 1100 could raise that much,” said James Bugg. “We raised over $110,000 in one year without any state or federal grants. They’ve been so generous. It was really an outstanding effort by the community.”
Bugg added that money came from all Assumption people -- those who were raised in Assumption and moved away as well as those who live in Assumption now.
The committee selected Robert Dondeville, a Vietnam veteran, who designed the Mt. Zion Veterans Memorial, to develop a fitting design for an Assumption Veterans Memorial.
“He designed the center stone with an eagle, service emblems, and the VFW and American Legion emblems,” Bugg said. “Originally the eagle was going to be etched, but Dondeville thought a bronze eagle would be better. He sculpted and cast it himself.”
The Memorial, which will be located in the Women’s Club Railroad Park on Chestnut Street halfway between 1st Street and 2nd Street facing the business district, has a center monument flanked by granite stones with more than 1150 inscribed names.
Bugg said the names on the granite will not have ranks nor be listed by war. They will also not be alphabetized so that others names may be added. There will be a reference book at the site so that visitors may find the names they seek.
“The stones will be numbered to help with the reference,” Bugg said.
More names may be submitted for the memorial. The only criteria is the person has to have lived in Assumption at some time.
To submit names, contact Norm Bethard at 217-226-4127 or at email@example.com.