Groups seek two war memorials

Two groups will ask the Wichita City Council today to accept their donations to pay for erecting two additional memorials at Veterans Park.

Local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution will pay the $40,000 it would cost to build a Revolutionary War memorial, and World War II veterans groups will provide $60,000 for a World War II memorial, said Doug Kupper, the city's park and recreation director.

Donors of the two memorials would also be required to put an additional 10 percent of the cost of their projects into an endowment fund for long-term maintenance. The fund is handled by Veterans Memorial Park of Wichita Inc., which was created several years ago to be involved in the construction of new memorials and maintenance of existing ones.

The organization, not the city, requires the contribution to the maintenance fund. This would be the first time the mandate has had a chance to be applied, Kupper said.

"The endowment idea probably should have been done when Veterans Park was created," Kupper said, "but no one had the forethought. This veterans group does."

There are 39 veteran memorials in city parks, including 15 at Veterans Park, 339 N. Greenway Blvd. There is a World War II memorial at McAdams Park, but Kupper said veterans also wanted to have one at Veterans Park.

The park board has already reviewed the proposed plans and is recommending the council accept the donations. If the council does, the groups must take their plans to the design review council to make sure they adhere to aesthetics requirements, Kupper said.

The Revolutionary War memorial will have three six-foot tall, eight-inch thick granite panels on an elevated stand. The panels will show a minuteman with a rifle pointing toward the flag pavilion, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Concord Hymn.

It is scheduled to be completed in 2013.

The World War II memorial will have two granite panels, also each six feet tall and eight inches thick. They will be at the east end of the walkway along the river.

Completion is targeted for Dec. 7, the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.