Restoration project gives memorial a much needed facelift

Published: Apr. 21, 2014 at 9:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2014 at 9:33 PM EDT
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Jeremy Bolton
Jeremy Bolton

. - LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - In a few weeks we will be honoring our brave men and women who have fought for our freedom during the Memorial Day holiday. Right now, one memorial in Louisville is getting a much needed and deserved facelift.

A major restoration project started three weeks ago at the Patriots Peace Memorial. The memorial is located off River Road next to the Thurman-Hutchins Park. The project is so important because the memorial is a way that we can honor our members of the armed forces.

"We realized there was a need to recognize military people from our region who had died in the line of duty but, not as a result of combat," said Ed Armento, a Vietnam Veteran and a member of the board of directors for the Patriots Peace Memorial.

This Patriots Peace Memorial was built 11 years ago as a way to honor our fellow patriots.  There are 444 names in the memorial.  Each time a name is added, a concrete brick is removed and replaced with a personalized glass plate with the fallen patriots name.  But over the years time has taken a toll on the plates.

"You come here to see your sons name and there it is," said Armento. "It's a disgrace. We found there was condensation constantly inside the wall. So, eventually that moisture worked on the paint of the names and the paint deteriorated and in many cases slid off."

BJB Restoration is giving the plates some TLC.

"We are going through and cutting out all of the existing plaques and replacing them with new etched plaques," said Jeremy Bolton, the project manager for BJB Restoration. "It's a great setting and a great way to memorialize those that have paid the ultimate price. We are fortunate and honored to work on a special project like that here in our own community."

The names on the plates are now going to be on the outside, so there will be less maintenance on the plates in the future. In order to restore the plates it will cost money.

"We estimate it's going to cost $70,000," said Armento.

Armento said the city of Louisville owns the land and the memorial. The Patriots Peace Memorial committee is responsible for just about everything, including the maintenance project. They have collected some of the money from donations, but need the communities help to keep it going because honoring our brave men and women isn't something we should do just once a year.

"We need to preserve it with a certain amount of dignity so the families and loved ones know when they go there their children and loved ones are being honored properly," said Armento.

The restoration project is expected to be completed by Memorial Day, May 26. They will also be enshrining four sailors at the ceremony. The committee still needs about $10,000 for the restoration project.

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