After months of design, construction and maintenance, the new memorial at Effingham VFW Post 1769 was dedicated during a ceremony Saturday.
More than 100 people attended the dedication of the granite memorial with bricks commemorating past and present members of the organization. The memorial, which stands in front of the post facing the road and is surrounded by flags, was designed by 30-year post member Niles Conkling.
”It’s amazing,” Conkling said of the first design project he’d ever done. “I stand back in awe of what it turned out to be.”
The guest speaker for the event, Lt. Richard Boone, an Effingham County native and current Department of Defense employee, said the monument stands as a testament to the rich history of service from the men and women of the county.
”It’s obvious why so many servicemen come from Effingham County,” he said. “We have pride and love of country and the heart of small town America that makes good soldiers. This monument and your presence here speaks volumes.”
Construction of the memorial began in the spring and summer of 2012, with memorial bricks being placed in the fall. Conkling said the addition of the memorial bricks, as well as some placement and design aspects of the memorial, were made as a group.
While the memorial was only just dedicated, Conkling said he has already received many compliments on the design and execution from members and non-members alike.
”I have had I don’t know how many calls from people about it,” he said. “People stop by and just tell us how beautiful it is. Any kind of memorial like this is always such a benefit to the community.”
Conkling said he still looks forward to hearing how people respond to it every time they see it.
”It turned out great,” he said. “I never imagined it would turn out this way. Every time someone drives by, they’ll get to see it and once you know it’s here, you’ll look for it every time.”
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or firstname.lastname@example.org.