The city of St. Clair recently dedicated a veterans monument to go along with the banners hanging outside city hall. But officials said the community is far from finished honoring those who served.
The new four-foot-tall metal sculpture is a tribute to a fallen solider, with boots, a rifle and helmet. Behind it is an American flag with a bald eagle on top. It was made by The Wishing Well, a St. Clair statuary business.
The monument was paid for using money raised through the sale of banners honoring veterans on two nearby light posts. The banners, 52 of which have sold so far at a cost of $100 for the year, feature the name of the veteran, branch of the military and any medals received or wars the veteran served in.
With businesses helping out, the city only had to pay $750 for the monument. Other businesses that provided products or services were Bolte Construction, Williams Electrical Service and Havin Material.
The remaining money and money raised in the future will eventually go toward an even larger veterans memorial.
“I know the final memorial that we do is going to be costly,” City Inspector Mike Bursey said. “We’re looking at granite statues, and I’ve got to have one for each branch of the service.”
The city plans to seek help from larger businesses to cover the cost of a larger monument.
The large monument, which is likely a couple years away, is the third phase of the veterans project, with the first phase putting up the banners, Bursey said The city is now working on the second phase, which includes putting in benches so people can enjoy looking at the banners, he said.
“We will not let veterans be forgotten in this town,” Bursey said.
Each banner purchased gives $80 to the fund for a memorial, with $20 going toward the banner and equipment, Bursey said. The city already has filled one light pole and is working on a second. The two poles can hold a total of about 80 veterans banners. The small monument sits between the poles.
Response to the monument has been overwhelmingly positive, Bursey said.
For more information on purchasing a veterans banner, call 636-629-0333.
“We will accept banners any day of the week,” Bursey said. “It doesn’t matter if they are from outlying communities. We welcome all, because this is something that is long overdue.”