In an era where much of the national conversation is centered on which statues and monuments need to come down in connection with America’s fraught racial history, Bloomfield, Wisconsin, this week chose instead to raise an effigy to all U.S. service members.
“There’s so many people that sacrificed, and I don’t think they’re thanked enough. I really don’t,” Rebecca Brittain of the Bloomfield Veterans Statue Fund told Fox 6. “You know, they’re out on the front line. They’re out doing things that most people don’t even think about.”
The statue, a golden soldier, went up Sunday, June 28, in Veterans Park in Bloomfield.
The effort was reportedly made possible by a yearlong community-wide fundraising effort that turned up the $40,000 needed to purchase the small monument through the Bloomfield Veterans Statue Fund.
“My brother Mike was a POW on Wake Island for four years in a concentration camp — and he gave me the incentive to do something for our veterans,” Richard Olenoski, an organizer of the Bloomfield Veterans Statue Fund, said.
The local Fox affiliate reported that a small crowd of neighbors and donors was on scene as the statue was unveiled in the park. In a nod to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the golden service member was also adorned with a patriotic mask.
“That statue represents what our country stands for,” resident Myra Gallagher told Fox 6. “We stand behind it.”