Crews under the supervision of Derrick Monument put in place today a total of 21 tons of polished black granite from India to serve as the new Genesee County memorial to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.
The dedication ceremony will be at 11 a.m., May 17, corner of Washington and Bank, Batavia.
The construction of the monument today caps a years-long effort by local veterans to replace the memorial that was displaced when UMMC added on its surgical wing.
"I don't even know if I can put it into words," said local veteran leader Jim Neider when asked what it was like to watch the monument being put in place. "We've been working on it for four and half years. We've been collecting donations for four years. It's the culmination of all those donations and all that hard work. To me, it's like Christmas."
The actual monument costs $125,000. With lighting and landscaping and other expenses, there are more expenses, but a total of $150,000 was raised for the project.
The monument contains the names of local U.S. service members who died during World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
The name plates from the old memorial are buried in a spot in front of the monument, marked by tiles that donors were able to purchase and have engraved with their own message.
Local veterans designed the monument and Derrick Monument helped complete the design and plan the construction. While the granite came from India, all of the diamond-tipped engraving was done in Vermont.
Last Saturday, crews poured 56,000 pounds of concrete to create the monument's base.
Max Rapone and Alex Rood passed by the monument on their way home from school this afternoon and stopped to take a closer look. Asked what they thought, Max gave it a thumbs up and said "awesome."
Neider and Dave Carlsen, president of Derrick Monument, agreed it's a beautiful piece of work.
Carlsen praised the work of his design staff, Jackie Earhardt and Ryan McClurg.
"Hats off to the committee for such a nice selection," Carlsen said. "We're certainly proud to be a part of it."
Top photo: Wayne Devoid, Jim Neider, Dave Carlsen, Rick Devoid, and Cassie Carlsen.