Sunday, Oct. 25, Camden Centre, Milan
Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices. – President Harry S. Truman
For the third consecutive year, Veterans Funeral Care, a Trimble Pointe Company, is a signature sponsor of the annual Veterans Recognition Celebration, with Eric Trimble serving as Master of Ceremonies. All area veterans and guests are invited to RSVP to Veterans Funeral Care (309-764-1164) for the luncheon event, while space is available. This year’s program is dedicated to telling the story of the Washington D.C. World War II Memorial. Pillars of Honor, Inc. will conduct this moving program of the history of the Memorial, with patriotic music and guest speakers. It concludes with the unveiling of the original 8‘ x 8’ model of the National World War II Memorial, constructed by Friedrich St. Florian. This same model was displayed in the U.S. Senate prior to its dedication.
Since 2004, WWII Veterans and their families have been making the pilgrimage to Washington D.C. to see the memorial built in honor of their service. It is flanked by the Washington Monument to the east, and the Lincoln Memorial to the west. As the years are passing and these “Greatest Generation” veterans are aging, making the trip to Washington D.C. has become more and more challenging. World War II veterans are passing at an alarming rate — nearly 1,200 die each day. Veterans Funeral Care is honored to partner with Intouch Adult Day and Home Care Services and other area sponsors to bring the memorial model to the Quad Cities for this one, very special Sunday, October 25, afternoon.
A Symbol of Service, Sacrifice, Unity, and Victory
Through stone architecture and bronze sculptures, the World War II Memorial recognizes the ways Americans served, honors those who fell, and recognizes the victory they achieved to restore freedom and end tyranny around the globe. The Memorial honors the service of sixteen million members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, and the support of countless millions on the home front. The Freedom Wall is comprised of 4,048 gold stars. Each gold star represents one hundred American service personnel who died, or remain missing, in the war.
Sixteen million men and women served during the war era. More than 400,000 soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and military personnel perished in the war. When an American went off to fight, the family often displayed in their window a flag bearing a blue star on a white field with a red border. If one of those dreaded telegrams arrived informing them of their family member’s death, they would replace the blue star with a gold one; revealing that family’s sacrifice. “Here We Mark the Price of Freedom” is inscribed below the Freedom Wall.
The World War II Memorial is a predominantly granite structure, made up of 17,000 individual stones to form its vertical pillars and pavilions. Two 43-foot tall pavilions proclaim American victory on the Atlantic and Pacific fronts — on land, at sea, and in the air. Fifty-six granite columns, split between two half-circles framing the Rainbow Pool and fountains, symbolize the unprecedented wartime unity among the forty-eight states, seven federal territories, and the District of Columbia.
There are two wreaths for each pillar: one on the front and one on the back. The wheat wreath represents agriculture, and the oak wreath represents industry. This symbolizes the fact that not only did the states and territories give their citizens to serve in the military, they also offered their resources and the fruits of their labor to the cause of victory. Without the hard work, sacrifice, and support of the home front, success on the battlefront would have been impossible.
The stories and symbolism of the memorial will be shared during the two-hour October 25 program at Milan’s Camden Centre, beginning at 11:30 AM. Additionally, during the free luncheon, veterans and their family members will be encouraged to share their experiences with their colleagues, and reflect upon their wartime sacrifices. Luncheon reservations will be accepted for the first 400 guests by calling Veterans Funeral Care at 309-764-1144, or Intouch Adult Day Services at 309-797-0200 for the 12:00 NOON seated luncheon and program. Reservations will be accepted through October 22 on a first come-first serve basis. A public open house will take place beginning at 2:30 PM.
Eric and Reid Trimble, licensed funeral directors and embalmers for Veterans Funeral Care, encourage area veterans to stop in at
701 12th Avenue, Moline from 9am-4pm to request the free benefits book and resource kit, which includes information on the Veterans Funeral plan. To schedule an appointment, call 309-764-1144.
Photo credit: LUke1138/iStock