Members of the Military War Memorial Committee were present during the Batavia Township Trustee meeting on Monday, May 4, to ceremonially relinquish ownership of a Humvee to the township.
The vehicle was donated to the committee more than two years ago to serve as a centerpiece for a memorial to those who served the country in military conflicts beginning in 1977. The repaired and refurbished Humvee was donated by BAE Systems in Fairfield. The mission of the committee was to establish a war memorial on the grounds of the Batavia Township Community Center.
Their initial goal was for a dedication in November 2008 and then to entrust the memorial to Batavia Township for maintenance and future improvements and additions.
Military War Memorial Committee chair Linda Fraley addressed members of the Batavia Township board.
"We are officially turning over the key to the Humvee," said Fraley. "This key simply serves as a symbol to represent the Humvee. The committee is still very committed to the cause, but in today's economy the donations are coming in slowly. People would love to give, but right now they just can't. We very much appreciate the trustees for donating the land and your ongoing commitment to this memorial. We want to see something happen with the memorial and we thought this would be the best way to accomplish that goal."
"I think our township is blessed to be able to donate the land," said trustee chair Archie Wilson.
The trustees are in the process of getting estimates for a scaled down design for the memorial. It is expected to be placed at the entrance to the community center with flags representing the branches of the military.
In a meeting held in March 2009, trustees agreed that plans for the memorial should move forward, but they also agreed that the elaborate plans which were initially developed for the site called for more funds than the committee had raised. In an effort to get the memorial in place, they agreed to scale down the memorial with the possibility of expansion in the future.
"With the economy like it is right now, I don't think people want to see a large memorial," said trustee Jim Sauls. "The people need to know that the trustees are spending their tax money wisely. I think the memorial should be kept simple."
Members of the Military War Memorial Committee told the board that they would continue their efforts to raise funds for possible additions of the memorial in the future.