Cement started being poured for the Bloomfield Veteran’s Memorial on Tuesday. Joe Skrivan, the project organizer is happy to see his plans coming to life after five years of planning.
“They are making what is called the ‘inner circle’ of the memorial,” Skrivan explained. This circle will have stones with veterans names around the perimeter as well as a red stone representing purple heart recipients, the battlefield cross and the kneeling soldier located inside the circle.
There will be an outer circle poured that will allow visitors to walk around the outside of the inner circle to see the names on the back sides of the stones. Benches will also sit around the outer circle.
“If the weather holds we will probably run the outer circle yet this fall,” Skrivan said.
According to him, the finances are available for the battlefield cross and kneeling soldier which have recently been ordered.
After the first of the coming year, he plans to order the stones. Skrivan has been working tirelessly to acquire names and branches of all those from Bloomfield. The stones will have room for 1,200 names.
“We want to make every effort to get the names of every veteran we can,” he said.
The stones will come from India and will take approximately three months to get here. Skrivan sought out the best black granite that would last the longest and discovered granite from India had the best reputation.
“It is more money, but it will last and last,” Skrivan said.
He hopes to have as many names of soldiers as possible by the end of this year to order the stones, but there will be room on the stones for engraving names later. He has gone as far as to plan to acquire donations and put it aside for future engraving costs.
Donations have been great, which did not come to a shock to Skrivan who has seen how giving this community is time and time again. In the last five years, many donations have been received in many forms.
“The Herzog family donated the money to buy the land and got the ball rolling,” he said.
Skrivan thought his land to be perfect for the memorial as it is located on the highway and is in the middle of town. The land owner had many other offers on the house that was located there but they thought the memorial would be perfect idea for the land and decided to sell it to Skrivan. Another individual donated to have the house located on the land removed.
He has also collected around $152,000 in donations for this project.
“It will take $200,000 to do everything we have planned for the memorial,” said Skrivan.
His ultimate goal is $220,000 for the project, the additional $20,000 for future etching of names and other upkeep.
He believes it is important to have the money before spending it. Down payments on the battlefield cross and kneeling soldier have recently been made.
With the pouring of the concrete this week, Skrivan has seen a boost in donations. He estimates he has received about $8,000 this last week.
“Seeing some activity there has helped immensely,” he explained.
There are also plans to use a bit of “Old Bloomfield.” After deliberating how to light up the area, the idea of modifying old street lamps had come up.
“Those streetlights were here when I was a kid,” Skrivan said with a chuckle.
Plans also include a three-walled shelter that will be available for picnics and house a donor board. An underground sprinkler system is also a possibility if the funds are there.
Skrivan also wants to make this area easy to maintain for the city so the memorial is always looking good and stays in good condition.
Donations are not far from the goal and he is confident that by seeing the progress this week donations will keep coming in.
“Every dollar counts and it is all appreciated,” Skrivan said.
For anyone wanting to donate to the project or wanting to give names for the stones can call Joe Skrivan at 402-373-2330, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or send mail to P.O. Box 367 Bloomfield, NE 68718.
Skrivan believes at this rate and if things continue to go well, the project could be completed by summer or next fall.