THE FINAL MONUMENT was installed at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Durand on Wednesday, May 24, as a massive, five-sided, granite obelisk was put into place at the center of the park. Each face of the monument, which was constructed by Marsh Monument of Durand, is adorned with a bronze plaque honoring one of the five branches of the U.S. military. The obelisk is part of the project’s third phase, which will also include a sponsor board to be installed at a later date.
Below each plaque is inscribed the motto of the respective branch, with “Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)” for the U.S. Marines, “This We’ll Defend” for the U.S. Army, “Non Sibi Sed Patrine” for the U.S. Navy, “Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win” for the U.S. Air Force, and “Semper Paratus (Always Ready) for the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Durand community has raised more than $93,000 for the Veteran’s Memorial Park project, which has been funded completely by donations and fundraisers, and every monument has been paid for in advance of being installed in the park, with the exception of the new obelisk.
The Durand Parks and Recreation Board, which has organized and overseen the project, used the $12,000-plus it had remaining in its project fund to pay for a portion of project’s final phase. The city kicked in the remaining funds necessary to purchase the obelisk, but the parks and recreation board will be repaying the city after its summer fundraising efforts. The board intends to hold two golf outings and two softball games, and the group also plans to apply for a Michigan Economic Development Corporation grant to help complete the project and set up a perpetual care fund for the park.
The city of Durand will host a Memorial Day parade at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 29, which will conclude at the Veteran’s Memorial Park, at the intersection of N. Saginaw, Livingston, and Oakland streets.
Marsh Monument employees Mike Marsh (left) and Mike Wonch can be seen helping to guide the obelisk into place on Wednesday.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)