STARKE COUNTY - Details about the Veterans Memorial Plaza of Starke County were shared during a presentation at the Knox VFW Saturday morning. 

Memorial Committee members Mark Smith, Jay Weinberg, County Commissioner Kathy Norem and Knox City Council President Jeff V. Berg presented information about the planning process and displayed preliminary design plans. 

A survey was also distributed to collect feedback from the veterans and community members in attendance. Norem stressed that the new monument is for the veterans so their opinions are vital to the process. 

Berg is an avid historian who is in the process of collecting all the names and information of Starke County veterans who passed away in battle, dating back to the County’s founding and Smith has past experience with similar memorials.

Weinberg is a local artist who has been supplying the committee with designs. He mentioned that the three working with Benjamin Garcia, who served in Afghanistan, on the 3D renderings. 

While discussing the design, it was noted that the main purpose of this new memorial will be to provide an accessible place for people to gather and commemorate their lost loved ones. 

The proposed design features a ledge where flowers and other tokens of appreciation may be left. There will be multiple benches to allow time for reflection and meditation and enough space for special events to be held at the site. 

The committee is considering having a bench dedicated to every branch of the military. However, there was also a recommendation to put maps from various conflicts on them. Those details will be worked out as planning continues.

Make sure to pick  up a copy of the Feb. 6 edition of The Starke County Leader!

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