Started in 2004, the Town of Weathersfield and the Weathersfield Veterans Memorial Committee (VMC) have been working hard to replace a World War II honor roll monument that for years, was located at the intersection of Route 5 and Route 131 in Ascutney.
Weathersfield currently has two war monuments that recognize service to our Nation, including a Civil War Obelisk and a "first 200 year since inception" milestone, which are both located at Weathersfield Center.
The lost World War II monument, which listed the names of 59 veterans on its' scroll, is believed to have been either moved or destroyed in the early 1960's during construction of what is now Interstate 91.
After a Weathersfield resident had brought this to the attention of the Weathersfield Select board in 2004, it was suggested that a new monument be created to honor those and all veterans, the Board established the VMC to further explore the creating of a new monument.
With Weathersfield having over 200 veterans from World War I (30 veterans), World War II (87), Korea (57), Viet Nam (44) and many more serving in recent and current conflicts, a survey of town residents revealed that 78% wanted a new memorial, with the consensus to not spend more than "five figures".
An agency fund was then established with an appropriation of $2,000 for the initial design, advertising and information dissemination, with the VMC committed to raising the balance of funds to finish the project through fund raising, donations and possible grants.
The committee decided on a two-component memorial, a monument created from local stone, along with an educational exhibit so that young people can be educated about serving our nation.
Currently, the focus remains on the monument itself, with the educational component following the competition of the monument.
Local stone artisan Aaron Fitzhebert of Tribute Artistry Monuments was chosen to design and create the monument, in which he is working closely with the select board through the entire process.
In 2005, a clay model of the monument was created, while the names of all the veterans was also being researched and compiled.
The VMC and the select board then agreed to place the monument on the southern tip of the Perkinsville Green, in which an easement was signed between the Perkinsville Church Trustees and the Town of Weathersfield.
In 2006 a financial support request was sent to U. S. Senator Bernie Sanders, while personal donations from Weathersfield residents and local businesses were collected.
Along with various other town events to raise funds, over $9,000 was collected, making the project balance over $11,000.
With an estimated cost of the project at some $55,000, there was still a lot of work to be done.
However with the continued hard work of the committee and the assistance of Senator Sanders, the project was just recently rewarded a $45,000 grant for the completion of the monument.
"The largest credit should go to Senator Sanders, who did a lot in arranging the grant for us," stated Chip Cobb, who is the Chair of Weathersfield Veterans Memorial Committee and a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army.
While the committee awaits the grant funds, fund drives are continued to raise money such as chicken barbeques, plant sales and a walk-a-thon.
The latest steps in the process include the initial, local cutting of the monument stone, along with the stone engraving and etching.
Upon the completion of the monument, the placing of the monument and dedication ceremony is planned for sometime this year.