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SPOONER, WI -- On Saturday, August 27 at 11a, the citizens of Washburn County have the opportunity to celebrate with the Spooner Veterans' Memorial Committee on completing the Veterans' Complex at the Waterside Veterans' Park in Spooner.
During the past twenty-two years, the committee has worked tirelessly to create a world-class tribute to local veterans. In this first-class park are benches, walls, and pavers inscribed with names of those from Washburn County who served, some paying the ultimate price.
There is also a replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which was added in 2019, being a miracle itself. The image was created as a Memorial and Veterans' Day tribute by the Calvary Gospel Church in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2016. When the festivities were over, the Tomb became available to anyone who wanted to find a good home for it.
After an exhaustive search by then Washburn County Veteran Service Officer Lisa Powers and Assistant WCSO Ella Parker, the Veteran's Committee in Spooner said it would find a spot in the Veterans' Memorial Park, doubling the size of the complex.
After endless setbacks, it now sits proudly in the Memorial Site, an authentic replica of the original Tomb in Washington D.C., Marine guard, three graves, and all.
Though Covid delayed the dedication, it's finally scheduled at the site in Spooner on Highway 63, south of town.
On dedication day, various speakers and the Honor Guard will give tribute to the Tomb and to all the engraved names represented throughout the complex.
Just in time for the dedication, four beautiful granite monuments were delivered and set by the Little Falls Murphy Granite company. These are the folks who supplied all the black granite monuments and signs and who, not long ago, set an impressive five-sided granite obelisk on its five-sided base. Each side represents all the wars that were fought on U.S. Soil. The Revolutionary War, the Indian War, the Civil War, the War of 1812, and WWI.
Each of the new four monument stones also honors a war: Korea, WWII, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. The information about and the history of the war is on the back side of each monument.
They line up beautifully between the original group of walls, pavers, flags, and statues that face the highway and the Tomb on the other end toward the west. The short walk between the new monuments is called the Walk of Remembrance.
From the beginning, Betty and Pete Hubin have been committee members and have seen the beautiful dream come to fruition. They estimate the entire project from the very start has cost a total of $200,000. Funds being generated from the sale of pavers, names on the walls and benches, etc., fund-raisers, and generous donations through the years.
Pete also mentioned that the committee is always looking for new members to help maintain the project that is finally finished but needs to be maintained. His phone is 715-635-3256.
This complex is open to the public, and there is no charge to visit. Donation boxes are set up in the complex, and every dollar amount is appreciated for upkeep, including repairing and eventually buying new flags and additional landscaping.
The City of Spooner takes care of lighting, lawn mowing, and insurance. A generous donation covered the irrigation from the pond abutting the complex.
If you cannot attend the dedication, make sure you stop by and tour the entire complex, day or night. You'll be impressed.