Havre Daily News
A new veterans memorial is taking shape at Havre's Town Square. The memorial, containing plaques honoring current and former military members who served in war or in peacetime, will be dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
The memorial can hold up to 1,800 of the 3-by-6-inch plaques, said Jim Matter, former commander of the Havre Veterans of Foreign Wars post. He said Thursday that about 150 of the plaques have been ordered.
”Overall, the response has been quite good,“ Matter said. He is in charge of the project for VFW Post 497. ”People are buying for fathers and uncles who have died, but there's been a lot purchased for those who are still with us.“
Matter credited Havre Mayor Bob Rice with the idea for the memorial. Rice said he thought all veterans should be honored in Havre.
”We didn't really have a place we could call our own,“ said Rice, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. ”It's just a good thing, and I'm looking forward to the opening ceremony. I'm pretty excited about it.“
Two memorials to service members are located at the Hill County Courthouse. One is a tribute to those who served in World War II, and the other is a tree, planted in 1975, dedicated to prisoners of war and those missing in action in the Vietnam War.
VFW post commander Bill Bilger said everything he has heard in the community about the memorial has been positive.
The memorial will consist of a main wall measuring 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide and two other walls angling down on either side. The walls will feature three steel plates identifying the memorial, Matter said.
The memorial was originally supposed to be completed by VFW members in the spring, but they decided to hire Clausen & Sons Construction. The company waited until it had the time to do the work, Matter said. He apologized to the public for the delay.
Bill Baltrusch donated the concrete for the memorial.
The plaques cost $25 each and can be ordered at the Vets Club, Bilger said. The plaques include the name of the veteran, the veteran's branch of service and the dates of service, he said.