News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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May 26, 2014

Not forgotten: City, vets’ groups combine forces to upgrade memorial

TERRE HAUTE — A newly renovated memorial now greets those visiting the Soldiers and Sailors Circle at Highland Lawn Cemetery, on Terre Haute’s east side.

New large, bold, white letters state, “Lest We Forget.”

“Last year when we were standing here, the concrete letters were just falling apart. They were wearing out. One of the commitments we made was to get this fixed,” Mayor Duke Bennett said during a Memorial Day ceremony at the historic cemetery.

“I think that is a good tribute to our veterans. As it faded away, we brought it back for the next 100 years that we can come up here on this hill and remember those who have given their lives for our freedom,” the mayor said.

After the ceremony, the mayor said part of the hill for the memorial was reshaped and painting was done and new concrete installed. Bennett said many veterans groups donated to the project, which cost more than $6,900.

“We will do additional landscaping, as some wall stones are deteriorating, so this will be an ongoing project,” Bennett said.

Eddie Bird, superintendent of the Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department, said work went quickly on the project so it could be completed by Memorial Day.

“It took us about a month to get the grass to grow back. We tore out all the concrete and the concrete pad. We put a dark stain in the concrete and poured that,” plus a walkway to the top of a small hill at the soldiers and sailors circle, Bird said.

The darker-colored concrete allows the large plastic letters to be more visible, he said.

“My biggest concern was the grass. The mayor even said if can’t get it to grow, bring in sod. That’s how dedicated he was to getting it done,” Bird said. “We didn’t have to because the grass grew with all the rain we got.”

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