Veterans memorial unveiling
Dedication set for Saturday
REPUBLIC — President John F. Kennedy once said: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Republic Township residents who have served in all branches of the U.S. military since the Civil War will receive that level of appreciation during the dedication of the Republic Township Veterans Memorial at noon Saturday near Munson Park.
The 20-feet by 10-feet cultured stone memorial will contain about 700 names, project coordinator Sterling Schultz said, with information that may surprise even longtime residents of Republic.
“There are probably 15 to 20 people who got Silver Stars and Bronze Stars, one has a Congressional Medal of Honor, so they have a reason to be proud,” Schultz said.
Schultz, who is a Vietnam veteran, said the original fundraising goal for the project in August 2016 was $4,000, but participation and support among residents, area organizations, businesses and contractors has led to quadruple that amount being collected.
The majority of the funds were collected from small individual donations, according to Schultz, but several donors committed larger donations, which allowed the bulk of the project to be completed within a year.
Among the larger donors, the Upper Peninsula Power Company, the Eagle Mine and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5014 each donated $1,000 to the project. A private donor gave $4,000 to the effort on the condition of anonymity, Schultz said.
“All of it’s just been wonderful. We have collected $19,000. That has been used up and we are about 95 percent done.” Schultz said. “We need between $3,000 and $4,000 to finish it up.”
The additional funds will help to make the monument compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, Schultz said, as well as add stairs, two lights to illuminate the structure and a larger sidewalk around the memorial.
“The flags will be lit dusk to dawn,” Schultz said, “to conform with flag protocol, and the steps and that cement work are not going to take very long at all.”
Schultz hopes to collect the rest of the funds needed from larger local donors who have yet to contribute to the cause.
“I have sent letters out to CCI (Cleveland Cliffs Inc.), UP Health System and We Energies,” Schultz said.
Schultz said he hopes to see a good turnout at the dedication ceremony.
“All of these people who are on (the monument), especially the ones who passed away should be honored forever.” Schultz said. “When you come into town, you come here to visit, put your hand on the wall and say ‘thank you for your service.’ That is want I want people to do.”
There will be a gathering with snacks and coffee at the Republic Township Hall after the ceremony, Schultz said.
Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is email@example.com.