Douglas County Veterans Monument Dedication
By Joe Gschwendtner
Douglas County is among the most desirable and affluent counties in the U.S. Less well-known is the depth of community gratitude for veterans and the military services. At 11 a.m. on November 11, awareness will change dramatically when community veterans and county leaders unveil a spectacular bronze sculpture, dedicating it within the new Veterans Monument Plaza at the corner of 4th Street and Wilcox in Castle Rock.
In Douglas County, we have always honored our veterans. Parker and Highlands Ranch both have thoughtful, inspiring monuments. But this county addition is boldly patriotic. The monument itself is a bronze sculpture of an eagle whose talons clutch and raise a replica of the first United States flag over a depiction of the United States. Including pedestal, it tops out at 13 feet and weighs 940 pounds. Cast in a scale of 1.25, the noble eagle has an eight-foot wingspan that can stir the soul.
The artist, William Hueg, was chosen from an original field of 14. Recognized internationally, Hueg is a prolific sculptor and one of his finest pieces graces the city of Hiroshima. Talent from Colorado was also forged into the project. The molds were created in Arvada and the monument itself was cast in a Loveland, Colorado foundry.
The monument strives to achieve four goals: To honor past, present and future veterans; To be a gathering place honoring veterans; To gather and remember those living and dead; And to teach children and others about the honor of our veterans.
Around the hexagonal base of the monument are seals of the six military services. Defining the space are seven flagpoles, lighted from dusk to dawn, constructed within the L-shaped wall surrounding the sculpture itself. It bears the colors of our six services with a seventh for all POWs and MIAs. The waist-high rock wall from which the flagpoles rise is crushed stone, once part of the old Douglas County Courthouse on which grounds the plaza is located.
Veterans Monument Plaza was a long time in coming, but clearly well worth the wait. From the dream of Douglas County’s VA Services Manager Henry Bohne to reality, it took six years and countless volunteer hours to get the concept designed, approved, funded, and now dedicated. Art and real estate are not cheap; the project is nearing the $150,000 mark at its dedication. But it remains a work in progress. Participation is warmly welcomed and additional donations, deeply appreciated. For more details, go to www.dcvmf.org.