Mission finally accomplished.
Harold Stieber, president of the Central Texas Veterans Memorial Committee, said those words as Reed Memorial representatives installed the final three granite replacement tablets Friday afternoon at the veterans memorial.
With Friday’s installation, all four of the tablets that were shattered the night of May 19, 2018 when they toppled to the ground have now been replaced. Stieber is among those who believe a windstorm that night toppled the tablets, causing damage in excess of $40,000. The memorial consists of a total of 12 granite tablets.
Stieber and other members of the veterans memorial committee were determined to replace the tablets, and donations from businesses, organizations and individuals poured in.
The first of the four shattered tablets was replaced in October. There was a delay in having the other three tablets made because the stone coming out of the Georgia quarry wasn’t the right shade, Stieber said.
“Our fund-raising campaign was a very successful one, thanks to Weakley-Watson and other people, and our Go Fund Me page, and all the donations that we (received),” Stieber said as Reed Memorial representatives worked to install the tablets Friday.
“We collected enough money to pay for it in full. Today is the conclusion of a process that’s taken a long time, a lot of help, a lot of people involved. It’s absolutely beautiful again. We’ll be moving forward for other improvements in the park for our veterans.
“We’re just very grateful to Reed memorial for their expertise and hard work to make this happen. We’ll probably rededicate it on Memorial Day in May. It’s a beautiful place again to visit and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
The memorial, located at Camp Bowie’s 36th Division War Memorial Park, includes the 12 tablets set up around a 75-foot concrete circle. The tablets are engraved with the names of 259 Brown County residents killed in wars.
Braces have been installed on the tablets to prevent them from being destroyed in future windstorms.
Now that the memorial has all of its tablets, Stieber said it “looks like somebody had been missing four or five teeth and they had that funny looking smile, and now they’ve got all brand new teeth again. So it really looks symmetrical, and it’s a beautiful design to begin with. We’re very happy and pleased to have it done.”