Clay County Military Plaza to honor and thank veterans

(WTHI Photo)
(WTHI Photo)

BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) – Craig Park will soon become the site of something special.

“There was nothing in Clay County for our veterans really, to honor them,” said Linda Rowe.

“We needed a large place where they could always be remembered,” said Keith Kowitz, “Once you put it in stone, and it’s put there, you’ll always be remembered and that’s what we wanted.”

That’s why Kowitz and Rowe are on a mission. As part of Honoring Our Military’s Efforts, or HOME, in collaboration with the local VFW and ASK, they’re in the works of building the Clay County Military Plaza.

“We’re going to have a 15 foot walkway that goes to a 45 foot circle, all laid in brick, personalized brick, with star points, five-star points to honor all branches of the military and in the middle is going to be an American flag,” Kowitz said, “It’ll have a couple of benches where people can sit, relax. All bricks are personalized so if you have a grandfather that’s in the military or something, he’ll always be remembered.”

With the help of sponsors, grants and donations, Kowitz says they’ve been able to raise about $28,000. He says they’re hoping to get to around $30,000 or $35,000.

Organizers broke ground on the plaza last week. Kowitz says they’re waiting on architect plans and will plan to begin work shortly after that’s complete. He says they’re aiming to be finished next spring.

“It was kind of a community thing,” Kowitz said, “We always thought this park was kind of a resource that hasn’t been developed like it should. So we thought this would be a perfect place for it.”

Kowitz and Rowe thank the local VFW, ASK, along with Mayor Wyndham, Karen McQueen and others for making the project a reality. For them, the project holds a special meaning as both Kowitz and Rowe have family ties to the military. That’s why they plan to do more to honor local veterans in the future.

“After this project, HOME is going to continue,” he said, “We want to do veterans projects, that’s what HOME is all about, helping vets. So that’s why we do all this, it’s for the vets and all other people.”

“That’s the reason why I’m doing it because I appreciate what they’ve done for this country and for us,” said Rowe, “and I hope kids in this community will get something out of this.”

Kowitz says they are still in need of donations and volunteers to help build the Clay County Military Plaza. If you’re interested in helping out, you can contact Keith or Cindy Kowitz (812-443-0150, or Linda Rowe (812-878-7756).

You can also help out by attending the fundraiser at the local VFW in Brazil (303 S Depot St). Every Monday, from 8-10 a.m., there is a biscuits and gravy breakfast that is open to the public. It’s a free-will donation and all proceeds go toward the military plaza. Rowe says once the plaza is built, the money will go to other projects.