THE Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department is embarking upon a worthwhile community fundraising campaign to refurbish a public memorial commemorating the service of local military veterans from World War I and World War II.
The memorial in Central Park for Hannibal soldiers from those wars was dedicated on May 14, 1962, thanks to the efforts of the Service Mothers of War World II and the American Legion Emette J. Shields Post 55, along with the city of Hannibal, Marion County and the state of Missouri.
The eight bronze plaques list the names of more than 5,000 Hannibal servicemen, but time and weather conditions have taken their toll. Many of the names are now faded and becoming difficult to read.
"We've tried several different ways over the years to clean it, but those weren't working as well, so we decided to have the work done professionally," Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Aron Lee told The Herald-Whig.
Lee said a Mobile, Ala., company specializing in the restoration of monuments and memorials has agreed to clean and restore the plaques for an estimated $12,000. However, the department does not have funding available in its budget to cover that cost, so it is reaching out to the community to assist with the restoration project.
For a tax-deductible donation of $100 or more, donors will have their names engraved on a separate plaque that will be placed on the back of the memorial. The plaques will be taken to Mobile once the necessary funds have been raised.
Anyone who wants to donate can find information and a brochure at hannibalparks.org/news. Checks can be mailed to the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department, 320 Broadway, Hannibal MO 63401.
Continuing to remember those who served their country in long-ago wars for generations to come is a worthy community endeavor, and we are confident people living in Hannibal and Marion County will answer the call.