The following, as of June 28, has been submitted by Dave Engaldo, a member of the Savanna Veterans Memorial Committee.
Construction is underway once again on the Savanna Veterans Memorial and the oversight Committee has reported that the memorial will be largely completed by November, with the dedication now slated for Memorial Day, May 25, 2020.
When completed the Memorial will be a 50-foot-by-60-foot concrete pad surrounded by a stone-like retaining wall with an entrance on both the east and west sides of the site.
The west end of the memorial will feature three large, granite monuments. The two outside monuments will have the logos of each of the six branches of the armed services.
One monument will include the Army, Marine Corps and Navy and the other will include the Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines.
The middle monument will have an inscription which reads: "Dedicated to the people of Savanna Illinois who support those who serve in the armed forces of the United States. A commemoration to the living — A memorial to the dead — A remembrance to the missing."
Immediately behind and to the west of the monuments will be three flagpoles. The center flagpole will be 40 feet high and fly the U.S. flag. The American flag will be flanked on either side by 35-foot flagpoles which will include the State of Illinois and POW flags.
In addition, the Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge plaque will be mounted on a granite monument in the northwest corner of the memorial facing the new bridge that was dedicated on June 17, 2018.
The east entrance to the memorial will include a granite monument paying tribute to donors who made significant contributions toward funding the memorial.
The monument will highlight "Appreciated Donors" who made contributions at the following five levels: Bronze, $1,000-$2,500; Silver, $2,500-$4,999; Gold, $5,000-$7,499; Diamond, $7,500-$9,999; and Platinum, $10,000 and above.
The focal point of the memorial will be two 22-foot, double-sided, concrete paver walls that will dominate the east end of the memorial site. These paver walls will display the memory bricks which include the names and service information honoring over 600 veterans with a connection to Savanna — men and women that have served or are serving in the armed forces of the United States.
Construction will initially focus on pouring concrete foundations that support the granite monuments, the flagpoles and the paver walls.
Next will come the installation of the lighting and electrical infrastructure located within and under the floor followed by pouring the concrete floor which will include a decorative, stamped section between the two paver walls. Once the floor has been completed the surrounding retaining wall will be finished.
Later in the summer after the floor and electrical work is complete, the three flagpoles will be installed followed by the monuments and paver bricks that have been delivered at that point.
The only additional work targeted for completion by the end of summer is paving the parking area and access road and the associated curb and gutter work. Next spring the remaining monuments and paver bricks will be installed prior to the site dedication and opening on Memorial Day.
Once construction begins in earnest, the Veterans Memorial Committee will provide periodic updates in the Savanna Times-Journal, other local newspapers and on their website (savannaveteransmemorial.org), including lots of pictures showing the memorial's progress.
But don't wait for the pictures, take a drive and check it out for yourself. The view is awesome!