HANNIBAL — The Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department's campaign to construct a Veterans Memorial at Cardiff Hill Overlook has reached 45% of its goal over the past year, and visitors to the site will be able to see engraved bricks being installed during the first week of November.
Mary Lynne Richards, marketing director and recreation supervisor with Hannibal Parks and Recreation, said 140 bricks bearing the names of veterans have been sold and $7,000 has been donated so far — accounting for 45% of the $60,000 needed to erect the memorial. An order of 100 of the bricks will be on the way soon, and they will be installed ahead of Veterans Day. Jim Link, with the Veterans Service Committee, said he looks forward to seeing the roughly 12-foot-tall memorial constructed through the help of donations and purchases of the engraved bricks.
“It's exciting to all of our veterans' families who are going to pay tribute in an honorable manner,” Link said. “It will be such a beautiful centerpiece up there, toward the end of bridge of approach.”
Link and fellow Veterans Service Committee members are excited that the monument moving closer to fruition, and they are hoping it will be constructed in 2020. The City of Hannibal will provide as much work and support as possible — including installing the personalized bricks — and sub-contractors will perform foundation work and construction of the monument.
Plans call for two large columns supporting an overhead archway. The memorial will feature white gray granite surfaces, and a pathway made from the personalized bricks will lead to the structure. The “Freedom Bell” from the USS Hannibal will hang from the archway, following several years of being on display in Kiwanis Park.
The bell came from a U.S. Navy vessel used in the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II. It was donated to Hannibal after the ship was decommissioned in 1944.
The idea for the Veterans Memorial came about during the restoration of the veterans memorial in Central Park for World War I and World War II veterans. Passersby asked if there was a way to honor veterans from other wars as well.
The Veterans Memorial campaign received a boost during Hannibal's bicentennial celebration, with banners showing the faces of 216 “Hometown Heroes” who served in the armed forces. Several people purchased bricks as another tribute to the service men and women commemorated throughout downtown.
Link said donations of any amount are welcome, and gifts of $500 or more will be commemorated on a nearby plaque. Bricks can contain three lines of text, with each displaying up to 17 characters. More information about the bricks is available by visiting bit.ly/2MvhCEz.
Additional information and ways to donate toward the memorial's construction is available by calling Hannibal Parks and Recreation at 573-221-0154 or visiting www.hannibalparks.org.