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New Korean War Veterans Memorial in Overland Park, Kansas

6/16/2006

(Overland Park, Kan.)…Construction began May 8, 2006 on the new Korean War Veterans Memorial in Overland Park, Kansas honoring the state's servicemen killed in action (KIA) during that war.  The 70 feet long 8 feet high granite structure is scheduled for completion by late August, 2006.

Nestled beneath several large trees, the wall of honor will recognize all five branches of the service and features the names of 412 KIA's, two Metal of Honor recipients and the Purple Heart recipients. To give new generations a better historical understanding of the event, there will be a map of Korea and a timeline of the Korean War.  Also recognized will be the major contributors who are making this monument a reality.  The structure will include thirty 2.5 ft. x 8 ft. panels with benches and a brick patio that will allow individuals and companies to pay tribute to those that have served.

Involved in building the monument is SI Veteran Memorials, a company that has created hundreds of monuments since 1968, including over 20 Korean War Memorials.  "Like every project we do, the new Overland Park Memorial will be special," stated Russ Rogers, SI Memorials VP, "because SI believes those who served our country and those dedicated to honoring them by making the project a reality, deserve nothing less."

This Memorial was the vision of the Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter 1-181, whose executive committee includes: Jack Krumme, Chairman; Tom Stevens, 1st Vice Chairman; Jack Gay, Post Commander; Wayne Shireman, Secretary / Treasurer; Louis "Dutch" Meyers; Dick Tussell; Don Jamieson; Rudy Green; Gene Tinberg; and Clyde Koch. 

The $675k memorial is being funded mainly through private and corporate donations and fund raising efforts (pancake breakfasts, raffles, golf outings, paver projects, etc.) of the Overland Park VFW Post.  Those interested in supporting the monument fundraising can participate in a golf tournament at Iron Horse on June 14or purchase pavers and/or make a donation directly to the committee.  For more information, call 913-888-2497 or go to www.Koreanwarmemorial-opks.com.

SI Veteran Memorials is working with Merit General Contractors and B&A Associates architects to build this monument.  

SI Veteran Memorials projects have ranged from as small as $5k to over $2 million.  They include building the Pittsburg, Kansas Veterans Plaza and Midland, Texas All Veterans Memorial, as well as coordinating the brick project for the Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, Missouri.  Other current veteran memorial projects include Baltimore, Maryland; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Branson, Missouri.

SI Veteran Memorials is the preferred provider to the VFW and is working with the American Legion on several projects.  They are a division of Suhor Industries, Inc., the nation's largest Wilbert Burial Vault licensee and one of the leading funeral service providers in the country.  SI provided the burial vaults for Presidents Ronald Reagan and Dwight D. Eisenhower and participated in the internment of both national leaders.  They also provide a free burial vault for public servants killed in the line of duty that are buried in the ten state areas in which they operate.  SI Construction Services, another sister company, provides turnkey lawn crypt and columbarium projects to the Veterans Administration for national cemeteries all over the United States.

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Caption:

VP Russ Rogers (third from left) will be supervising the construction of the new Korean War Veterans Memorial in Overland Park for SI Veterans Memorials.   He is pictured in front of an architect's rendering of the monument with Korean War veterans and members of the monument committee, (l to r) Wayne Shireman, VFW Post Commander Jack Gay and Dick Tussel.

Articles appeared in The Graybeards (5/1/06); Kansas Funeral Directors & Emblmers Magazine (5/1/06); Denver Yellow Book and The Kansas City Star/BV Neighborhood News (5/20/06)