KEARNEY – The Central Nebraska Veterans Memorial held their groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday June 6, 2019. This memorial will be co-located on the grounds with the Central Nebraska Veterans Home in Kearney.
The idea to build a memorial first came up back in 2010. Once Kearney was named as the new site for the Veterans home, the plan really went into action. According to the cnvm.org website, the “memorial is based on an educational and historical perspective to honor those who have served in all military branches of service”. Bob Harpst, chairman of the CNVM committee, says a memorial of this size not only focuses on the veterans from central Nebraska but will be on a larger scale comparable to the memorials located in Washington, D.C.
Whether it be the service pillars. Which are each branch of service, including the merchant marine and the POW/MIA. Or the conflict pillar. Which described what was the Civil War on or around the present day. Every conflict that this country has fought in. So it’s a little focused on Nebraska but it’s on a bigger scale too.
The committee set out to raise $2 million in donations to make the memorial happen. As of June 6, 2019, they have raised $1.77 million of that goal with the help of 370 donors across the country. Harpst commented on how the community can donate:
If you’d like to donate; Kearney Area Community Foundation. Jump on their website. You can donate there, you can call them. Or you can jump on our website. Which is cnvm.org. That’s the acronym for Central Nebraska Veterans Memorial. We have a donate button on there. It also lists the Kearney Community Foundation website.
Mayor of Kearney, Stan Clouse, said a project of this magnitude really showcases the progress of the Kearney community. The city of Kearney was able to donate $500,000 towards this project. The hopes are that the memorial can be completed by Memorial Day 2020. Bob Harpst estimates completion time will be based on the weather.
Well, as you can see with the orange stakes, they’ve already surveyed the ground. So I guess that means construction has already begun. But as far as completion date, that’s going to be really hard to tell because the concrete guys are behind because of the wet spring. We’re hoping late fall. But in reality, probably next spring. Maybe we’ll shoot for Memorial Day, for sure, be done with it.
This memorial will be a welcome addition to the Kearney scene and will be a way for the community to honor veterans. Although much of the fundraiser goal has been met and construction has began, there is still a need for contributions. If you wish to contribute you can contact the Kearney Community Area Foundation or visit cnvm.org.