The monument, sculpted three years ago, conceptualized six years ago, will finally have a home.
“[We’re] absolutely ecstatic that we finally have a home,” Daughters of the American Revolution Maj. Francis Grice chapter member Sue Ramser said.
The location has kept many members, such as chapter regent Sonja Gandy, waiting.
“It seems like it’s been a lifetime, but once we heard that vote, things are moving so quickly,” Gandy said. “And I know, for me, Tuesday was very emotional.”
The reason it felt like a lifetime is because this project did get started a while ago.
“Okay well…this was July 2015,” chapter member Shirley King said.
King was thrust into action from the inception of the idea.
“I was the only artist on the board, so everyone pointed to me,” King said.
She handed her sketch off to local sculptor Garland Weeks, who, a little more than three years ago, brought the Vietnam Veteran monument to life.
“I’ve been speechless ever since I first saw the first little table-top model of what Garland did,” King said.
After seeing more first-time reactions, like that at a reveal over the weekend, they are ready for this piece of art to serve its intended purpose.
“No matter whether that be current service in the military, or whether that dates back to my father’s era in WWII, this will be a time of healing for our veterans,” Ramser said.
Once a project burdened with so many question marks, the work is now seemingly coming to life again in front of our eyes.
“Things are just falling into place, and it’s just amazing,” Gandy said. “It’s like this place was just the natural calling for our monument.”
After years of waiting, the exciting end is now in sight.
You can expect to see that monument set up at Lake Wichita by the start of the new year. The Daughters of the American Revolution want to have an opening ceremony by the end of December.
The DAR want to thank Assistant City Manager Blake Jurecek, City Parks Administrator Terry Points and Falls Concrete for their help getting this location secured.