Chanute Area Veterans Memorial
All donations to the memorial are tax exempt. The Federal Tax Exemption number for Borestler-May American Legion Post #170, Chanute Kansas is, 48 0519096. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated by the ALR and the community. Feel free to use our Paypal Donate Button below or
Make checks payable to;
Chanute Area Veterans Memorial
c/o American Legion Riders
PO Box 69
Chanute, KS 66720
Receipts by return mail upon request.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHANUTE AREA VETERANS MEMORIAL
In 2006, Wendell Allen and George Culbertson traveled to Piqua Kansas to attend a dedication ceremony for a Veterans Memorial constructed by the area residents. Upon returning to Chanute they talked about the need to have such a memorial in Chanute. Wendell and George presented the idea to the American Legion Riders of Borestler-May American Legion Post 170 in Chanute. A vote was taken and a decision was made to develop a plan for the Chanute Area Veterans Memorial. This project was later put on hold in order to participate in the Kansas Honor Flight program. The American Legion Riders raised over $60,000.00 to take 42 area WWII Veterans on a trip to Washington DC. Many of those WWII Veterans are with us today.
On November 10th, 2010, the American Legion Riders approached the Chanute City Commission and received approval to construct the proposed memorial in Santa Fe Park. The City of Chanute pledged to supply the building site, the excavation, and all the electrical requirements and future maintenance of the lighting.
The focal point of the Memorial is a semi-circular wall tapering from 4 feet up to 8 feet tall. The wall is constructed from black granite and is laser etched depicting images of U.S. conflicts beginning with the Revolutionary War to the current conflict in Afghanistan. The wall will serve as a reminder of the courage and resolve of the American soldiers who have unselfishly served this great country.
The center section of the Memorial is made up of 4X8 granite pavers with the names of area veterans who unselfishly heard the call of duty and left their homes and families to defend the American way of life. It is important to remember that for every name on these pavers, there is also a story. A story of their service and the sacrifices of their families.
The Memorial faces to the East towards the rising sun representing a new day in the history of this great nation. The sidewalk leading to the Memorial is made up of granite pavers recognizing local organizations and individuals who donated towards the construction through their purchase of the pavers and various fundraising events. On the South side of the side walk is a granite podium and a plaque dedicating the Chanute Area Veterans Memorial to ALL Veterans, past, present and future. On the North side of the side walk is a statue of an American Soldier. The statue was donated by SSgt. Melvin Eubanks, who is a member of the Army National Guard’s 891st Engineering Battalion formerly of Chanute. On the granite base is a plaque honoring the service of the 891st and the previous units head quartered here in Chanute.
The American Legion Riders spent a great deal of time, effort, resources and money on the design and location of the Memorial. The American Legion Riders goal was actually two fold. The primary goal was to design a memorial that would do justice to the sacrifices made by those who have served in the past, to those who are presently serving today and also to those who will serve this great nation in the future. At the same time, The American Legion Riders also wanted to honor the many sacrifices made by the families that they left behind. Secondly, The American Legion Riders wanted this design to be unique to Chanute Kansas. It was designed to have the ability to be expanded by future generations. The American Legion Riders understand that there will always be conflicts requiring the bravery of our young men and women in uniform. It is The American Legion Riders hope that this memorial to our Veterans may offer them and their families’ closure, if needed, and the knowledge that their service and sacrifice did not go un-noticed by the citizens and businesses of Chanute and the surrounding area. It is also The American Legion Riders hope that as the word spreads of this tribute to the American Soldier, that this memorial will become a travel destination bringing visitors to Chanute. The American Legion Riders want to show everyone who visits the Memorial that the citizens and businesses of Chanute are truly proud of the men and women who serve our country to keep us free and protect our way of life.
The cost to construct the Memorial to honor the areas Hometown Heroes far exceeds the estimated project cost of $250,000.00 when you factor in donated materials and man hours involved in the construction. The American Legion Riders are proud of the entire community in their support of this project. Thousands of hours were invested by not only the American Legion families but many other organizations, businesses, groups and individuals throughout the area to make the Chanute Area Veterans Memorial a reality.
The American Legion Riders fully understood that this undertaking was going to be a very daunting task to say the least. The American Legion Riders will also be the first to admit that in a depressed economy, it was even more challenging than first envisioned. The American Legion Riders simply renewed their dedication towards the completion of the Chanute Area Veterans Memorial. The American Legion Riders just had to work harder and explore every possible opportunity to see this through to completion. Because of the importance of this project not only to our Veterans, but also to our community, no corners were cut and no expense was spared. It simply had to be done correctly the first time.
We as American citizens must NEVER forget the sacrifices made by all who have served this great nation protecting our freedoms and ensuring the freedoms of our children. Far too many of these Veterans, men, women, brothers and sisters have unselfishly paid the ultimate price and have given their very lives to protect these freedoms. The success we all share in our daily lives would not be possible without the sacrifices made by the men and women in uniform. THEY made us who we are today. We must “NEVER FORGET”.