HANNIBAL | Despite still being a few thousand dollars shy of the goal, the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department has announced it will soon seek bids for construction of the planned Veterans Memorial.
Andy Dorian, the city's director of central services, reported the news during the June 16 meeting of the Hannibal City Council and at the June 18 meeting of the Hannibal Park Board.
“We have at this point in time raised over $56,000 for that, so we are close enough to the goal to go ahead (and seek bids),” he told the council. “I know that is pretty exciting. It is something we have been trying to do for quite some time.”
As of January of this year 67% of the $60,000 goal had been raised, $25,250 through the sale of personalized veterans bricks. Another $15,000 had been received through donations.
Dorian said the sale of the customized bricks, which will be used to form a pathway at the memorial, will continue.
“We will sell bricks forever,” he said. “We have plenty of space.”
As of last week's park board meeting 315 bricks had been sold and approximately 100 bricks had been placed near where the monument will be located in the Cardiff Hill Overlook Park. The bricks cost $125 apiece.
While confident the memorial will reach its financial finish line, Dorian said other money is available for the project, other than that raised through the sale of bricks or donations.
“There is still some left over bicentennial money, too, that we can tap into if we need to,” he said.
Fundraising for the campaign, which officially began in September 2018, has progressed in surges. Still, Dorian is pleased with the generosity shown as funds came in, not only for the Veterans Memorial, but for other projects as well.
“Between the Veterans Memorial, the War Memorial, the Broadway trees and the (park) benches, we have raised about $115,000 in the last two years. That's impressive. It shows how generous this community is. It's amazing,” he said.
The memorial, called a “Mantel of Peace,” will be constructed with a view of the Mississippi River. The concrete structure will have two columns which will support an overhead archway from which the “Freedom Bell” will be hung. The bell, which sat in Hannibal's Kiwanis Park for decades, came from the USS Hannibal. The ship served in the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II before being decommissioned in 1944.
The memorial project is a joint venture of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department and the Veterans Service Commission.