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Breaking ground
Construction begins on Benton veterans memorial
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Breaking ground for the new veterans memorial in Benton during the Memorial Day ceremony on Monday are, from left: Terry Schaefer, Dave Kane, Ryan Lavern, Gary McCrea, Eldon Kruser, Cal Robbins Jim Kruser, John Scanlan, John Brandt, Tom Slater, Delores Lutes and Ken Hammil.

BENTON—The first shovels of dirt were turned at the sight of the future veterans memorial in Benton.

Near the end of the community’s annual Memorial Day ceremony, memorial committee member Jim Kruser and village board president Gary McCrea, along with members of the village board and V.F.W., celebrated the start of construction of the veterans memorial.

The memorial will include four 8-foot monuments, the state flag, five service flags, two benches and two pedestals with plaques for the V.F.W. Ladies Auxiliary and thanking the community for donations. The names of past and present Benton area veterans will be featured on the four monuments. The new display will be situated around the current monument listing the 14 Benton residents killed in action.

Fundraising, which started in 2010, is nearly complete. Approximately $38,000 of the $40,000 goal has been acquired. The committee will continue to hold brat sales throughout the summer to reach their goal.

The construction of the memorial will start in June. Past and current veteran names and dates of service will continue to be collected all summer to be included on the memorial. To submit a name, contact Dave Weiskircher at Lafayette County Veterans Services, (608) 776-4886 or Jim Kruser at (608) 732-0621.