An effort is underway to install two more memorials to honor veterans outside the Jasper County Courthouse in Newton. Doug Bishop, spokesman for the newly formed Jasper County Veterans Memorial Commission, says they plan to place a memorial rock on the east side of the courthouse, similar to the Freedom Rock in Greenfield, Iowa.

“It’s going to be about a 10 ton stone. It’ll be 10 to 12 feet wide, 7 to 8 feet tall, and it’ll be put on a 15 by 15 pedestal on the courthouse lawn. It’ll be painted with murals of local veterans and veterans issues every year from here on out,” Bishop says. A local artist will be chosen to paint the memorial rock.

The other proposed memorial is a wall of roughly 350 bricks recognizing local veterans. Backers of the effort can “sponsor” a brick with a $100 donation. A similar wall is already on the courthouse grounds, but Bishop says it was built many years ago and there are now dozens of other veterans in the area who have yet to be recognized with a brick.

Donations toward the memorials will be collected Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hy-Vee Gas in Newton. “We’re going to have some vets out there pumping gas, washing windows, and just helping out with the cause…this will be our kickoff for the vet’s memorial,” Bishop says.

By Randy Van, KCOB, Newton