Korean War Veterans Assn. begins planning for memorial

Korean War Veterans Chapter 272 recently announced it has received excellent initial support for its proposed Greater Rockford Area Korean War Memorial.

“Donation commitments have been received for four flag poles, two granite benches and several memorial bricks,” said Don Crosty, chairman of Chapter 272. “One former veteran that lives in the area presented the Chapter with a check for $2,000 at the Chapter’s July meeting. We have set the goal for $70,000, and to date have received over $12,000. We plan to start a new donation can project within the next month. This, plus our Daisy Day sale near Veterans’ Day, a Cub Foods pork chop and brats sale, and our annual pasta dinner on Nov. 6, will certainly increase our memorial income.”

The goal is to start construction by May 2007.

As part of the project, the public is asked to contact the Chapter if they have any information on a serviceman who was killed in the Korean War.

“Due to a fire in the U.S. Army Record Center in St. Louis, Mo., in the 1960s, we do not have complete records,” Crosty said. “Photographs are nearly not extant.”

The Chapter plans to present the military record of each man on CDs to Memorial Hall after the project dedication.

Members had planned to host a raffle for a donated WWI U.S. Model 1905 Eddystone Rifle, but have been advised by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney office that the Illinois statute restricts not-for-profit organizations from conducting raffles until they have been in existence for five years. Chapter 272 has only been chartered for three years.

“We will simply sell the rifle if the membership approves,” Crosty said. “It has been recommended by our executive board that it be offered to members that qualify first instead of selling $1,000 worth of tickets.”

Requirements to purchase a firearm in Illinois are that you must be at least 21 years of age, own a valid Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification card, have no felony convictions and no history of mental illness.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the memorial or provide information to the Memorial Committee may do so by mail addressed to: Chapter 272, Korean War Veterans Association, 211 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61101, or by phoning the Chapter at (815) 964-6166.

From the Nov. 2-8, 2005, issue

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