Waterloo celebrates a proud military history – from the development of Veteran’s Way Art and History Walk to banners lining downtown streets and the red, white, and blue lights illuminating the Cedar River along the 4th Street bridge each night. Waterloo’s Memorial Hall Commission is providing a new opportunity to honor and remember the community’s veterans through the Veteran’s Memorial Hall Fund.
The Fund was established to support the ongoing operations, maintenance, programs, and special projects at Veteran’s Memorial Hall and Soldiers and Sailors Park. The Commission, comprised entirely of volunteers, is dedicated to preserving the building and the artifacts it holds. “We have a rich background of military service in this community. We want to make sure we preserve that history,” says Dave Grimm, Operations Chair.
|Veteran’s Memorial Hall was built in 1915 by Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and the site of Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies and community events. It also houses various artifacts from wars and conflicts dating back to the Civil War. The Commission collects, preserves, documents, and displays all materials so they can be used for community education and research.|
Soldiers and Sailors Park displays plaques and monuments to commemorate all wars and conflicts American service men and women have served in. One such monument is a Civil War memorial fountain that was dedicated in 1930. Unfortunately, the fountain is crumbling at the base, and the marble needs to be repaired. This is the kind of project the Commission anticipates will benefit from the Fund.
Though the City of Waterloo owns the grounds and pays for development and maintenance, the Commission is hoping the opportunity to generate community support through the Veteran’s Memorial Hall Fund will help them pursue some of the more in-depth projects like the repair of the fountain. “The City has been good to us, but they can only contribute so much to maintain the space. This Fund allows us to move forward important projects without waiting for city funding,” says Grimm.
You can support the work of the Veterans Memorial Hall by giving online or mailing a check to Waterloo Community Foundation, PO Box 1253, Waterloo, IA 50704 with “Veteran’s Memorial Hall” in the memo line.