PLAINVILLE — Through years of fundraising, a grant and a number of donations and contributions, this Rooks County town was able to unveil its monument to the public Friday.
It couldn’t have come on a more appropriate day for the sculpture representing the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces to be introduced than Veterans Day. With luminaries lined around sidewalks in Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Andreson Memorial Park next to U.S. Highway 183, town residents turned out in a large number. Elementary school students waved small U.S. flags, people visited and the metal sculpture stood high above the audience.
“It was one of those things when we started it, we wanted it to be very unique, very different and very visible,” Plainville mayor Kelli Hansen said. “So when people drove through the community, it wasn’t our monument, it was everybody’s monument. Especially this week. It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican, Democrat. We’re all Americans. It was very timely when it went up, and we couldn’t be more proud to have it here.”
The monument is a large metal U.S. flag with five silhouettes of soldiers representing the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. Inscribed below is, “Honoring those who served.”
The sculpture was done by B&B Metal Arts, located in Hoisington. The design plans of how it would appear began in April; the finalized product was put up Wednesday.
“It was one of those things when it went up, the excitement was already there,” Hansen said.
The dedication of the monument turned out to be the perfect moment for Plainville to host a Veterans Day ceremony as well. A program the town usually hasn’t done, Hansen said, the ceremony was filled with everything to make the moment right.
John Pyle, a Plainville native and a veteran of the Navy who enlisted in 1965 and served during the Vietnam War, was the speaker. He spoke of his memories serving and of times leading up to that growing up near Plainville. Pyle gave a rundown of numbers from wars including World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and Desert Storm.
“There are many, many World War II veterans who had an impact on me,” Pyle told the audience. “They gave me values I still hold dear today.
“Veterans Day is honoring those who have served. All of them gave something.”
Representatives of Kansas, state Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, R-Grinnell, state Reps. Sue BoldraR-Hays, and Ken Rahjes, R-Agra, were in attendance, along with Stockton Mayor Kim Thomas. Roger Cooper was the emcee for the program and led the audience in a few songs including “God Bless the U.S.A.” and “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah.”
There was a Quilts of Valor presentation given for Plainville resident and veteran Neal Andreson. The Plainville High School Choir sang the national anthem and also performed “America the Beautiful.”
“I was blown away by the crowd and the participation — seeing the emotion out in the crowd from the young kids to the adults,” Hansen said.