A long-awaited component of the Brooke County Veterans Memorial Park was put in place Friday.
It's a 7-foot-tall cast bronze statue that pays tribute to the local men and women who have served their country, and its arrival came just in time for Sunday's Veterans Day services.
The work of Canadian sculptor Tim Schmalz, the statue will serve as the centerpiece of the veterans park, which is located near the paddle boats at Brooke Hills Park. Through its images, the statue conveys, according to Schmalz, the values and sacrifices of those who have served, including those who have given their lives.
Schmalz brings a great deal of experience to the veterans park project. In addition to a statue of Jesus Christ that stands at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, his work can be found at the Canadien Veterans Memorial in Ontario and the Mother Theresa Memorial in Calcutta, India.
While the arrival of the statue last Friday is a milestone for the project, there's still work to be done, according to President Howard Armstrong. Next up will be the installation of 267 granite pavers between the statue and the granite wall that bears the names of the 186 Brooke County veterans who have died while serving their country and the 27 who were prisoners of war.
The park is scheduled to be dedicated at 2 p.m. Sunday, Veterans Day, and serves as a fitting tribute to those from Brooke County who have stepped forward to serve their country.