Veterans monument proposed

Monday, January 21, 2008

Pete Laven approached Veterans Services Officer Clint Hoferman some time ago, asking, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a memorial at the courthouse to remember the veterans?" Hoferman was enthused with the idea, but before it could be carried any further, Laven passed away.

Recently, Bill Laven came to Hoferman, willing to help carryout his father's wishes.

The two shared their ideas with the Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors this week. It is hoped that interest and funding will show up to bring the dream to a realty.

No designs have been drawn up. Hoferman said that a similar project was done in Pocahontas, completed with contributions and other sources, for about $150,000. It was stated that Buena Vista County has some 500 more veterans than Pocahontas County (about 1,570) so the cost could be about $50,000 more.

"It wouldn't be cheap," said Hoferman, "but we would want it to look nice."

Hoferman has been on the phone with Steve King's office in hopes of being steered into the right direction of available grants. "It seems I've run into a stone wall but I won't give up."

Nothing is yet set in stone, meaning that other interested persons are welcome to come forward and help in the design, but Hoferman said he would like to see that every veteran - dead or alive - have the opportunity to have his or her name on a monument. In similar projects, Hoferman has learned, veterans or their families pay a certain price to have their names engraved on a monument, which helps in the cost. Hoferman said that could be a direction that could be taken.

In discussion with the Lavens, in the memorial business, black onyx marble would be a great stone to used, giving it a rich effect.

Hoferman said that several years ago, a design was drawn up for a monument that the veterans wished to be erected at the park. It remained only an idea and the design is no where to be found.

Hoferman said he will do all he can but it will take many people to step up to support the project.

A monument for the veterans, he said, is necessary.

"It's the veterans that made it possible for us to have our freedoms. They fought for our freedom and all the privileges we have. We need to think of our veterans before we think of anyone else because it's hard telling where we'd be without them," Hoferman said.

"I think it would be so nice to have a place for people to go and see the names of their uncles, brothers, dads (and don't forget aunts, sisters and moms) who served our country and know that the county thought enough of them to put up a monument. It'd be wonderful."

He pointed out that the veterans are recognized annually at the Star Spangled Spectacular with the reading of their names. A monument could allow constant and visible remembrance.

"We need to support our veterans."

To get this plan rolling, interested persons and funds are begin looked for.

Contact Hoferman at 749-2562.

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