The Veterans Freedom Square memorial was the site of much activity Wednesday morning with the long awaited placement of the military conflicts tablets which were mounted in their permanent monument at  Riverside Park. Seven tablets in all will be placed and ready for the official dedication of the memorial Monday, May 28 at 2 p.m. 

It was Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 when the Veterans Freedom Square committee and city dignitaries gathered at the memorial site to break ground. It had been a long process from its original conception to its completion. "In 2014, the committee came together with the guidance of Doug Harlin to bring this dream of a memorial honoring veterans who fought in all of America's major conflicts," said Ron Lawrence, committee chairman. 

"The initial concept of the memorial was presented and approved by the Heartland Vietnam Veterans. As the project progressed revisions were made to refine the design to what we see today. Due to the increased scope of the project additional assistance was necessary causing the project to sit idol until 2014 when

Doug Harlin became involved and organized a new effort to proceed with the memorial project. With his help and countless others they have completed the mission to build a memorial honoring the many lives who have served our country throughout this country's history. This memorial lends itself to become a destination point for travelers from around the country as well as a symbol of pride for our community," Leonhard Caflish, memorial architect said. 

The committee believes the memorial should tell the complete history of the United States of America and the men and women who served their country in times of war and to preserve the freedoms this nation was founded on. 

The tablet monument concept was designed by Leonhard Caflisch, project architect with Amy Taylor, black granite tablets designer, Terry Emert, Dan Dollison and Craig Null, conflict research analysts; Terry Emert, Jim Hogan, construction coordinators, project element planning and execution; Don Reynolds, Joe Stoudt, and Caflisch, project element planning and execution. The committee will continue to raise fund for the future replacement of the Afghanistan war monument when the conflict come to its conclusion. 

"The memorial tablets will be a nice way of remembering those who served our country when visitors are at the site. The tablets will help explain where the conflicts took place and a history of the conflicts. It should be a place where families can come get an educational experience on the wars we fought," said Lawrence. 

The tablet concept was developed by Caflisch, project architect. "I've been to a lot of memorials but I'm impressed that our explains the background on the conflicts and why we were involved in these wars," said Lawrence.