Goodwin College to install memorial to fallen soldiers and families
EAST HARTFORD — A massive new memorial honoring more than 30,000 men and women who have died in military service will be installed next week on the Goodwin College campus.
The Connecticut Fallen Star Memorial depicts a half-buried, 20-foot-tall star that is surrounded by benches and three bronze life-sized statues of an old man, a young woman, and small boy. The star pays tribute to fallen soldiers and sailors, while the statues placed strategically around it honors Gold Star families, so named because they’ve lost a family member on a battlefield.
Sculpted by Will Hemsley of Maryland, the memorial will be installed on Oct. 24.
A dedication ceremony is set for early November, the Saturday before Veteran’s Day.
A volunteer committee of individuals, local businesses, Veterans of Foreign Wars members, and Gold Star families are currently raising donations to fund the memorial.
Although the campus at 1 Riverside Drive is the site of the installation and Goodwin College is assisting in facilitating the process, it is not a Goodwin fundraising project, college officials said.
According to Philip Moore, Goodwin College spokesman, the costs for the sculpture, installation, and perpetual care is estimated at $300,000. About half of that has been raised so far, he said.
U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District, backed the idea for the memorial and formed the volunteer, nonprofit committee, which comprises veterans, government officials, business representatives, Gold Star families, and educators. The committee was charged with securing both the location and raising the funds for the memorial.
The memorial is scheduled to be delivered and installed Oct. 24 on Pent Road on the south side of the college campus.
A dedication ceremony is to be held onsite at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. Guest speakers include Larson, state Commissioner of Veteran Affairs Thomas Saadi, Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg, and Connecticut National Guard Adjutant Gen. Francis J. Evon, Jr.
They will be joined by area veterans and Gold Star family members. All state military and veteran organizations, as well as the general public are welcome to attend.
Following the dedication there will be a reception at the college. The event is free and open to the public.