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Replacement plaques being placed on Veterans Memorial Wall


Last updated 9/18/2020 at 8:58am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Some new aluminum plaques are seen on the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 497 Veteran's Memorial by Town Square. Heirloom Jewelers is donating the engraving to replace aging, damaged plaques on the wall.

Editor’s note: This corrects the name of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 497 member Larry Jess, whose name originally was misreported to the Havre Daily News.

A local jeweler is engraving new veteran memorial plaques to replace some plaques on the Veterans Memorial Wall by Town Square.

Heirloom Jewelers owner Jan Leibel said they use an engraving machine to do the plaques for the Veteran Memorial. 

Veteran Larry Jess brought her the plates, she said, he wanted to replace plastic ones on the wall because they were cracking and were discoloring.

"I told him that if he wanted me to help out with, it we would do the engraving at no charge," Leibel said. 

Pacific Steel & Recycling is supplying the aluminum plates being used for the plaques, she said.

She added that Jess brings the plates to her as well as takes pictures of all the plates that need to be replaced.

She said the machine they use is a laser machine and if the store isn't really busy it can do about eight to 10 an hour.

It is a fairly new machine the business obtained two years ago, she said.

"We just try and work in some of these plates when we have extra time to do it," Leibel said.

A lot of plates need to be replaced, she said, and had decided to redo and replace all of the plates.

She said the cracked and discolored ones will be replaced first, then eventually the rest.

Right now, some of the replacements have been installed on the memorial wall by Town Square.

After being lasered, they are engraved at least 20 times, so it goes deep into the plates, she said.

Then Jess puts a blacking on them so it's easier to see the engraving, cleans them and drills them in and replaces them, she said.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

"We are always getting requests for donations and I kind of like to pick the ones I want to do, so we actually are doing a lot for the VA right now," Leibel said. "We kind of took it on as a project. My dad was in the service, Barb, my manager's husband was in the service, my brother was. I like the looks of it and I just think it needed to be upgraded.

"It was something we wanted to do," she added. "We just know a lot of people in the service and of course we're partial to them."

She said when her brother Joe Leibel was in Iraq she made a big yellow ribbon out of chicken wire and yellow material, and the city of Havre hung it right at the top of the veteran's memorial.


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