NEW BREMEN — Construction is almost complete on the new Vietnam Memorial monument being installed at Kuenning/Dicke Natural Area just outside of New Bremen. Designed by landscape architects John Freytag, of Sidney, and Cindy Driskell, of New Bremen, its design is smaller version of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.
Besides size, however, Freytag said there were a couple of other key differences.
For example, he said, each of the two wedge-shaped stones, which weigh about 400 and 600 pounds, are made of polished black granite quarried in Ohio. The Washington D.C. monument was built with granite brought in from China.
“And the decision was made to not engrave veteran’s names on the stone,” said Freytag.
Instead a memorial plaque will be installed.
Funded by the New Bremen Foundation, this new memorial joins two in the park dedicated to World War II and Civil War veterans. These were also designed by Freytag.
Installation was largely done by employees of Crown Equipment, including placement of the stones, creation of an asphalt pathway to the site, and landscaping and seeding.
Land for the park, which sits along the Miami-Erie Canal on the north side of the village, was donated by the Kuenning family to the New Bremen Foundation. It was the Kuenning homestead for several generations.
The Kuenning family had many military members. Tom Kuenning Sr. served in the Army, and brother Bob Kuenning served in the Navy. Tom Kuenning Jr. served in the Air Force.
The interest in recognizing military service is seen on a sign at the entrance to the park. It has a picture of Harry S. Truman and a quote from his address to Congress in 1945 that said, “Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid; they have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.”
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.