Friday, January 19, 2018

Soldiers’ Wall becoming a reality, thanks to generosity

Thanks to the generosity of many, the Stillwater Soldiers’ Wall is soon to become a reality.
The Columbus City Council has approved the location, which will be on the west end of Railroad Park and ground-breaking will begin in early spring.
The project began on Veterans’ Day in 2011when I discussed with my second grade class all that soldiers do to keep our country a safe place in which to live. The students and I decided to try to “give back” to the soldiers and thus the idea was born.
Second graders since then have helped with fund raising activities within the school that involved the entire Elementary, as students supported their cookie sales and slipper sales.
Mrs. Hemphill suggested to the first grade teachers and classes that maybe they should donate the funds they raise on their annual used book sale to the second graders for this cause and because of them, much additional revenue has been raised. Private donations were sent in as well by many of the soldiers and their families.
Several local businesses are helping out to a large extent. Larry Hauge of R & H Concrete has been asked to dig and pour the footings and Mike Ortiz of Hardrock Concrete has been contacted to pour the wall. Both men have generously offered to donate some of their labor.
John Counter of Columbus Concrete will donate close to half of the concrete needed for the wall.
The wall will be faced with sandstone to blend in with our downtown businesses. Shawn Holmes of Bozeman Brick and Tile is providing the stone at a very good rate as a thank you to those who have served our country in the military. Plaques containing more than 2,000 names will be ordered in the spring.
Until then, I would like all of the soldiers (past and present) in the county to please check the list at your local post office to make sure your name is listed correctly. The newest list will be posted there.
If you notice any duplicates (many records were burnt years ago in a fire, making the task of locating names far more difficult than anticipated (various lists had different spellings), please contact me.
Also, I want you to know that if your name is not on the list and you have already called, please call or email your name in again. It was an inadvertent error and we want everyone who has served to be noted.
Fund raising will continue until spring so if you would like to help us in thanking and recognizing our soldiers, you can donate to the Stillwater Soldiers’ Wall at the Yellowstone Bank in Columbus. I can be reached at 322-5556 or jhharsha@gmail.com.
Jeanne Harsha
Columbus