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Cape Coral Veteran’s Memorial Monument set for a facelift

By Staff | Apr 9, 2020

The Cape Coral Veteran’s Memorial Monument — inspired during a Rotary meeting in 1967 during the Vietnam War — will undergo a renovation, with the installation of new medallions set for Independence Day morning.

ACRA Electric, Inc. President Robert Greco said the original monument was built and dedicated in the late ’60s and, approximately 20 years ago, he was involved in the last refurbishment, which added a fountain, lighting and landscaping.

The Kiwanis donated $1,000 on March 21, 1968 to the original Memorial Arch fund. On March 28, a handful of days later, the fund drive began as contributions were given throughout the community. The project resulted in a 55-foot tower of four 10,000 pound prestressed concrete pylons with four heavy gauge gold anodized chevrons on each side — which represent the branches of the military — as well as a gold anodized aluminum top cap.

Lee County issued the permit on for the construction of the Memorial Marker. Contributions on Sept. 4, 1968 and organizers then reached the $5,000 goal.

A few months later, on Dec. 7, ground was broken for the project.

The Memorial marker was dedicated on May 3, 1969, “Loyalty Day.”

In the fall of 1999, Rotarian Alan Gray approached ACRA Electric, Inc. to light the monument. From there Carolyn Conant became involved with her group “Greenscape,” which turned into a complete renovation of the median. The renovation included new landscaping, moving of street lights and permanent power to the median. In addition Aqua Pools donated the fountain basin, Mike Prystowick from Waltzing Waters donated the fountain and ACRA donated four 1,000 watt metal halide lights with wiring and installation.

The monument was rededicated in 2000 on Veterans Day.

Greco said it has been 20 years and they thought it would be a good time to readdress the monument for the 50th anniversary of the City of Cape Coral.

“It needs to be refreshed and that is how I got involved,” he said.

The monument will be pressure washed by the City of Cape Coral, and the city, as well as Lee County, will restore the landscaping.

The base of the fountain will be restored with the help of Siesta Pebble, which is donating labor and materials to reface the exterior of the base with travertine donated by StoneMart.

“The city, in cooperation with Waltzing Waters, will refurbish the fountain,” Greco said.

The fountain will receive new pumps and lights, as well as repairing the controls and doing the annual maintenance.

The steps at the bottom of the monument will be repainted by Brian Greenwell.

ACRA Electric, Inc is installing new color-changing LED lighting, electrical work for the fountain and replacing the flagpole light.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Greco said they have already collected enough donations to replace all 16 medallions on the monument.

“They represent the branches of the military. The medallions are probably 50 years old,” he said. “The new ones will be slightly larger and be manufactured locally,” he said. “Our goal is to install them the morning of July 4th during Red White & BOOM while Cape Coral Parkway is closed to traffic.”

Greco said the monument has been part of the Cape Coral landscape for so many years with many people not knowing what it is.

“It’s a good time to remember what it is and what it is for,” he said, adding that it is out of “respect of veterans that are living in Cape Coral. That have lived and died for our freedom. It’s important to recognize that and keep the monument in good condition.”

The plaque on the monument reads: “In recognition of the men and women of Cape Coral who have served who are serving in the armed forces of the United States, and in loving memory of those who will never return”