Work will restore names to readable condition

Donations continue to be turned in to the Hannibal Parks & Recreation Department (HPRD) by people wishing to see restored the metal plaques on the War Memorial in Central Park.

As of Tuesday morning, Feb. 13, a total $9,060 had been contributed to the campaign, which has as its target amount $12,000. Over $2,700 has been contributed since the start of 2018.

“We are pleased,” said Mary Lynne Richards of the HPRD, regarding the campaign’s progress thus far. “It is going well so far.”

According to Richards, since the campaign was officially kicked off in mid-November, funds have arrived from a number of sources.

“We have received (contributions) from civic groups, individuals and businesses,” she said.

The War Memorial, which was dedicated on May 14, 1962, features eight bronze plaques that contain the names of Hannibal soldiers who served in either World War I or World War II. It was erected in Central Park through the efforts of the Service Mothers of War World II and the Emmette J. Shields Post 55, American Legion.

Over time the plaques containing more than 5,000 names have faded and become “really hard to read,” according to Andy Dorian, director of the HPRD.

“We’ve had multiple people try to clean these, including ourselves (parks department) and the Veterans Service Committee (VSC), who I am working with,” said Dorian last fall. “It’s just not working. They’re old and faded. They need to be completely redone.”

The HPRD has identified a company in Alabama that specializes in such projects.

“The company, that’s all they do, restore monuments and memorial plaques,” said Dorian. “It (restoration) is quite a lengthy process because of all the names.”

Because money is not budgeted for the project, Dorian, with the park board’s blessing, decided to take the need to the community.

“We would love to see this done. We would love to see the community gather around and help us get this thing looking nice again,” said Dorian.

According to Richards, there is no deadline looming for the necessary amount to be raised.

“No, we will receive contributions until we reach $12,000,” she said.

Then names of the donors will be engraved on a plaque that will be placed on the back of the War Memorial.

The standards of giving are:

• Freedom Level, $1,000 and more

• Valor Level, $500-999

• Honor Level, $100-499

All contributions are tax deductible.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com .