The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner
Oquawka- Joe Boughton and his family can now sleep a little better at night. His vision for an appropriate place to come, pause and remember each veteran in Oquawka Township who served in the United States military, is nearly complete.
Joe, a retired U.S. Army veteran served 3 years in Germany from 1965-68 during the Viet Nam conflict and has a great respect for the patriots who serve our country and protect our freedoms.
Their daughter Ann Davies said, "Mom and Dad went over to the Oquawka Civil War Monument on Memorial Day. Dad is a vet and he was very upset about the way it looked and that no one paid attention to it and it wasn't very visible," she said. "So, he called us four kids and wanted our help to do something about it."
Ann said, she and her brother Joe Boughton Jr, are the only ones who live close. Joe, Jr. like his dad, had served in the U.S. Army and also in the National Guard, now works for CGB. The two siblings pitched right in to help with the project.
"Our sisters live out of the area, Misty Cardwell is currently in South Korea serving her 14th year of service in the U.S. Air Force.
Another daughter Becky Mueller is a radiologist at Great River Medical Center and commutes from Victoria.
Ann made posters, and her dad talked to local businesses and friends and many veterans. An account was opened at Midwest Bank of Oquawka for the project and money started coming into the bank.
Oquawka Township donated funds, the ambulance group held a breakfast and donated the funds, CGB donated, and Gunthers/Monmouth Ready Mix donated the concrete. Bruce Ruberg and some members of the Satan Brothers Motor Cycle Club of Oquawka got together and framed and formed all the cement. Sunrise Sanatation is installing the lights this weekend as a donation,
Ann said landscaping will probably wait until Spring.
There was a lot of leg work and research, looking at various memorials, and benches for people to sit down on to reflect, and talking to Amy Laue, owner of Leyda Burrus & Metz in Burlington, IA, who helped them with the emblems of the five branches of service that are set on the monument - Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard.
Ann said it was twenty years ago that Amy had engraved the last two wars on the Civil War monument-"Desert Storm" and "Operation Freedom".
After starting the venture, Ann said they traveled to Mediapolis, Iowa to look at benches and happen to see "The Fallen Soldiers Battle Cross" as a rememberance of those who didn't make it home.
"We thought about a plaque with names," Ann said, "but we were afraid we would leave someone out," so we purchased the Memorial Cross with the boots, gun, and helmet for we thought it brought it home as a rememberance."
Joe Boughton Jr, Gary Marsden, Scott Pullen, Tony Pierce and Jim Davies set the benches and memorial cross.
Ann plans to put together a list of those who helped for the newspaper, she said. And also plan for a dedication next year, possibly Memorial Day. They appreciate all the contributions everyone has made for this important memorial.