In Aug. 28 - Sept. 3 By Derek Aaron Times Journal Reporter
JAMESTOWN - The new bronze “Doughboy” monument is slated to arrive in Jamestown on September 9, according to American Legion Post 133 Commander Jeff Reeder.
During last Thursday's Jamestown City Council meeting, Reeder, who has been overseeing the monument replacement project, said the statue was “on schedule and looking good” according to the manufacturer, Innocast Execuline.
The replacement became necessary after the original statue was damaged beyond repair by an allegedly drunk driver in February.
“With the help of (City Attorney) Kevin Shearer, we have deposited a $25,000 check from the insurance company for the damages and we've taken in $1,750 in donations and we've still got some verbal commitments on some additional funds still coming in,” Reeder said.
“It is looking good,” he said. “Price-wise, our costs are coming down with the donations we've been getting.”
Reeder said he hoped to see construction begin on the monument by the first or second week in September.
“We've got enough money in the budget to go ahead and order a new flagpole also,” he said. Reeder said the new flagpole would be received within six weeks of ordering, according to the manufacturer.
“Those are two of the items we really needed, the “Doughboy” and the flagpole, that we had money to cover,” he said.
Reeder said Veteran's Day, Tues., November 11, is scheduled as the dedication day for the new “Doughboy,” the same day the original “Doughboy” was dedicated in 1937.
Reeder said the Legion was excited about keeping the event historical in perspective and said everyone would be welcome at the dedication ceremony. The time for the dedication on Nov. 11 will be announced at a later date.
“I have made contact with one of Sgt. (Alvin) York's children, Andrew York, and he is thrilled to death and would really like to be here that day,” he said. “As far as he knows, he'll be able to make it.”
York has two other siblings, one brother and one sister, who will try to be in Jamestown as well.
Sgt. York, the most-decorated American soldier of World War I, attended the dedication back in 1937. He lived at Pall Mall, Tn., between the state line and Jamestown, Tn.
Reeder said the Russell County High School Laker Band would be performing at the dedication and the high school's Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps would participate as flag bearers and to help seat the veterans at the event.
“Jamestown Christian Church wants to offer some assistance in the program also,” he said. The church would provide a secondary location for the event in case of bad weather and will provide refreshments afterward, Reeder said.
“It seems like things are starting to fall into place,” he said. “The community is really wanting to get involved and we're wanting to get the local churches involved and the school system and make it a community-wide project.”
Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates commended Reeder and his American Legion comrades for all their time, hard work and dedication to get the project going.
“I suspect we'll get statewide coverage for this dedication,” Bates said. “I think it will not only be a good time to show off the new “Doughboy” but also our city.”
The city has handled the account and all money toward rebuilding the monument and has spent it at the discretion of the American Legion, according to Bates.
Back in February, the rifle and left hand of the old statue was broken off and the rifle was broken into two pieces when it was struck by a truck being operated by an alleged drunk driver.The base was shattered and the statue's ankles were cracked, as was the elbow of the left arm.
The right arm was broken off near the elbow as well.The large flag pole behind the monument was also seriously damaged in the incident and was taken down as a safety precaution earlier this year.The symbolic statue stood in Monument square in Jamestown for more than 70 years. Jamestown is one of only four locations to have a “Doughboy” in the center of intersections. One in Monticello, Ky. is one of these.
Jamestown’s new "Doughboy" statue will be one of more than 150 located around the country as memorials to the local communties’ war dead, honoring those who gave their lives in service.Officially known as “The Spirit of the American Doughboy,” the sculpture was designed by E. M. Viquesney, designed to honor the veterans and casualties of World War I.
The original Jamestown statue, a zinc version, was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1937, making the dedication on Nov. 11 of this year 71 years to the day the first one was dedicated.
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