All Veterans Memorial Project Assisted By Community Foundation
May 17, 2013
For over nine years a very special project has been underway in northern Tama County. The idea of an All Veterans Memorial in the Gladbrook/Lincoln area was first suggested in April, 2004. Today the memorial stands as a proud and enduring monument to all those who have served their country. The Tama County Community Foundation (TCCF), an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, has been pleased to lend its support to this project as it has come into being. A total of five grants from TCCF have helped encourage the local fundraising efforts, headed by the Gladbrook American Legion and the Lincoln AMVETS. The most recent grant is being used to help finish paving the park driveway. TCCF is seldom able to fund an entire project, but by offering seed money or supportive grants, the foundation is able to encourage local funding initiatives. The All Veterans Memorial exists because of committed people working together to achieve a common goal. Just eight months after the initial conversations, two acres along Highway 96 were purchased for the memorial, and a monument design was underway. A seven-member committee took leadership in developing the plans and inspiring the people of Lincoln and Gladbrook to rally around the project. A very impressive list of community members and community organizations who lent their support through donations or in-kind service now exists as proof of the project’s all-encompassing reach. Among the significant elements of the memorial are the memorial tables, each holding 96 memorial bricks engraved with the names of individual veterans. The first placement of bricks included over 400 names, and today bricks are being added to the ninth memorial table. Sale of the engraved bricks was a primary source of funding for the development of the memorial, and the sale of bricks now helps with the ongoing maintenance of the All Veterans Memorial. The memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day, 2006. Service flags for the Army, Navy, Merchant Marine, Coast Guard, Marines and Air Force proudly flew over the Memorial along with the Stars and Stripes. The Iowa and POW flags are also flown at the Memorial. A decommissioned howitzer cannon stands at the southwest corner of the grounds, and future plans include the possibility of additional military pieces being used to honor the sacrifice of all veterans. The large, center Honor Memorial stone names those from the communities who lost their lives in service, and those who were prisoners of war. Engraved at the base of this memorial is the very appropriate saying, “All Gave Some, Some Gave All.” While the All Veterans Memorial is certainly a place of honor and memory, it is also a place for commitment and education. Memorial Day services are now conducted at the park each year. And, it should be noted, attendance at these services continues to increase annually. Also, the Third Grade class from Gladbrook-Reinbeck Schools visits the memorial each year as part of their study of history. These children are learning important lessons of what it means to give of oneself for a larger meaning. As the spirit of service and dedication continues to be honored at the All Veterans Memorial in Gladbrook, TCCF is pleased to be a partner with many others in helping bring the memorial into being and now maintaining it for the future. This proud community project epitomizes the kind of work TCCF seeks to support in its efforts to build the overall quality of life for Tama County residents. TCCF is able to assist 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, schools, and governmental entities with grant funding in Tama County. The Foundation’s primary goals are to support charitable projects and programs, to attract additional funds, and to assist donors in creating lasting legacies through a variety of giving options within Tama County. For more information about the TCCF, contact the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa at (319) 287-9106, or Rick Krug, Chair of the Tama County Community Foundation at (319) 478-2148.
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