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Updated: Dec 7, 2021

The dedication of the new memorial at the Central Nebraska Veterans Home was held on Thursday, September 11th. Gov. Pete Ricketts, U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith, Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse and Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director John Hilgert were in attendance to help celebrate the event.

The memorial was designed by Kearney native Phil Cudaback, a San Diego architect and features 16-foot-tall, 3-foot-wide and 3-foot-thick concrete pillars encased in granite each recognizing a branch of the military. Other pillars, which are 8 feet tall, 6 feet wide and 2½ feet thick concrete encased in granite, represent each conflict since Nebraska’s statehood, beginning with the Civil War. About $1.5 million covered the cost to erect the 173-foot by 103-foot memorial. The remaining $500,000 will be set aside in an endowment managed by the committee, which will be utilized for memorial repairs and upkeep.

The memorial committee, a nonprofit under the umbrella of the Kearney Area Community Foundation, began fundraising for the project in October 2015, with construction starting June 2019. Bob Harpst, a member of the memorial committee, was surprised by the donations for the project. “This turned out so much better than we could ever have expected. It’s just beautiful.”

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To watch the Facebook Live event, please click here.

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