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Album - Moving the Monument to the new VFW headquarters

A story of historical proportions told in seven photo(s)
Album: Click on headline for the complete story in photo(s)
By Ed Waggener

It was a slow, tedious job, moving the VFW Monument to it's new home. Game plans changed during the day, as the movers made new discoveries along the way. At one point, the monument was to be moved as three pieces, then as one, than later, the final plan - back to three pieces, as though the monument itself was dictating how it would travel.

The journey to the new home, at 500 Green Hills Road, was smooth and uneventful . . . until the final moment.



This story was posted on 2017-08-03 16:37:09
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The VFW Monument move I: Tablet breaks loose from sealant



2017-08-03 - 413 Fairground Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
The VFW Monument dictated its manner of transfer more than its movers did. The original plan was to take out the monument in three pieces. That failed in an earlier attempt because the crane brought is was totally unable to budge it. Early this morning, at around 9:30amCT, a really Big Mother crane was on site, and plans changed to the possibility of moving the tablet and the two endpieces in a single unit. At the morning bore, it was evident that that was not to happen. When the first part of the monument was removed, it was back to plan A. At 1:36pmCT, the center tablet began its ascent to be transferred to a waiting flatbed truck, left, onto which all three pieces of the monument will be transported east on Fairground Street, then across the Green Hills Road, to the new VFW Post 6097 home at 500 Green Hills Road, Columbia, KY.

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The VFW Monument move II: Center Tablet being loaded



2017-08-03 - 413 Fairground Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
Above, by 1:42pmCT, the Center Tablet was being loaded on the flatbed truck for its move, along with the two end plates, to the VFW Post 6097 new home at 500 Green Hills Road, Columbia, KY - EW

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The VFW Monument move III - Offloading monument at new post



2017-08-03 - VFW Post 6097, 500 Green Hills Road, Columbia, KY. - Photo by Linda Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
At 3:20pmCT, Thu 3 Aug 2017, the VFW Monument was aloft ready for placement atop the base at its new home. A large crowd had gather to watch the procedure and to photograph history in the making. - EW

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The VFW Monument move IV - Crane lowers tablet into place



2017-08-03 - VFW Post 6097, 500 Green Hills Road, Columbia, KY. - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
At 3:21pmCT, the tablet was being guided onto its new home by the ground crew. -EW

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The VFW Monument move V - Tablet shimmed, ready for epoxy seal



2017-08-03 - VFW Post 6097, 500 Green Hills Road, Columbia, KY. - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
The straps had been removed. the exact centering was completed, and the final move, putting an epoxy seal around the base was ready to take place. - EW

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The VFW Monument move VI - Ready for shims to be removed



2017-08-03 - VFW Post 6097, 500 Green Hills Road, Columbia, KY. - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
At 3:30pmCT, all was ready for the removal of the shims and for the epoxy seal to create a vacuum seal sufficient to hold the 12 ft tall tablet in place. With it in place, the crane would add the two endplates, which would be held in place by and epoxy seal and steel rods. That was the plan. . .

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The VFW Monument move VII - A disappointing end to project



2017-08-03 - VFW Post 6097, 500 Green Hills Road, Columbia, KY. - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
As perfectly planned as the move had been, the end was a teary eyed disappointment. The monument fell as the final placement was taking place. It fell in slow motion, as spectators, already well out of the impact zone, drew further away. Above, some viewers had drawn closer to contemplate what might be next. Commander Joe Hare, above, second from right, pondered the situation. At left is Orvis Grider. After this photo was taken, Commander Hare called to say that he had received assurances that the table would be replaced by the movers. If all had gone as planned, he said, "It would have been the end of a perfect day. Fortunately, Della and I had just taken photos of both sides of the table. The movers say that an exact replica of the original tablet will be made and installed. Commander Hare says that he still expects to hold the first VFW meeting in September 2017. - EW
See editorial by JIM - (Adair County's Forgotten Service Men: Missing from Monument) urging slowing down replacement of tablet to right wrongs to the Bailey, Collins, Harvey, Hurt, Keen, Garrett, Robertson, Shaw, and Wilmore families whose members made the supreme sacrifice but were not included in the original list of names.

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VFW Monument move: Disappointment, but brighter days ahead



2017-08-04 - VFW Post 6097, 500 Green Hills Road, Columbia, KY. - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
Despite the sadness around the loss of the historic center tablet mishap, VFW officials and Lindsey Wilson College consider it a regrettable occurrence, but look forward to receiving an exact replica of the tablet soon. A replacement has been promised by the movers. The setback won't affect the opening of the new hall, which Commander Joe Hare has called the "best VFW facility in Kentucky - maybe in the nation." This commemorative plate is already in place in the spacious, shiny new facility. The first meeting here will likely come the second Thursday in September. The transition has been delayed because of rental commitments for the old hall at 411 Fairground Street, Commander Hare said. So far, Lindsey Wilson College has not announced the fate of the old post hall. Clicking Read More accesses an album of the moving day for the monument, Thursday, August 3, 2017. - EW

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New VFW Post surveillance has already ID'ed wannabe intruder



2017-08-04 - VFW Post 6097, 500 Green Hills Road, Columbia, KY. - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
VFW Commander Joe Hare is proud of the surveillance cameras installed by the Lindsey Wilson College Plant Operations team. It's already recording activities around and inside the post, including a recent visit by a four or five foot long black snake. This viewing point is in the commander's office. The photo was taken before the placement of the VFW Memorial Tablet and the one misstep which shattered the monument's tablet, and shattered for a long time, the earlier euphoric state after the icon was moved from the historic Fairgrounds to the new post on Green Hills Road. - EW. Photo Thu 3 Aug 2017. Clicking Read More accesses the story of the move and outtakes in a still growing album.

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Garry Coomer, Lindsey Wilson College icon



2017-08-04 - Fairground & Young Streets, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com photo(c).
A towering figure at Lindsey Wilson College, Garry Coomer, watched the removal work on the VFW War Memorial monument Thursday, August 3, 2017. In November of 2017, Mr. Coomer will have been at Lindsey Wilson College for 47 years. No one else is close to his length of service in the history of the school. Few people in Columbia have had so many honors: A Campus Street is named for him. His name is on plaques across the campus, including one in the new VFW Hall. In all likelihood, he'll be around for his half-century mark at the school, where he is a very popular man on campus. He works in one of Columbia's biggest employers, Plant Operations at Lindsey Wilson College, where some 80 individuals work. Mike Newton is the Director of the Department, and works closely with Coomer. - CM. Clicking Read More accesses the photo album, "Moving the Monument to the new VFW headquarters."

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VFW Commander Joe Hare



2017-08-05 - Adair County Fairgound Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
At this point on monument moving day, Thursday, August 2, 2017, all was going - not as planned; plans changed with new discoveries about the monument - smoothly - so smoothly he was giving instruction to his personal photographer on pictures to take. - EW. Clicking Read More accesses the "Moving the Monument" album.

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When was it built? The VFW 6097 Hall at 411 Fairground Street



2017-08-06 - 411 Fairground Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com(c).
Monument moving day on Thursday, August 3, 2017, evoked questions about dates in the history of a number of landmarks on the old Adair County Fairgrounds, including the date this building was erected, one of the questions posed by Howard Keltner as the monument was being moved. Though print media researchers haven't yet located the date, surely it is in plain sight somewhere. We're hoping to find out today or in the next few days. What is known is that the VFW will continue meeting here in August, largely because of rental commitments for the hall, VFW Post 6097 Commander Joe Hare said. The building has been a very popular venue for reunions, auctions, yard sales, and other gatherings. Lindsey Wilson College Plant Operations Director Mike Newton said the future of the building, when occupancy is transferred to the college, is not yet certain. He and Commander Hare both said that utility bills are very high, and that those will plummet at the new VFW Hall at 500 Green Hills Road. A side note - This view is from Young Street, which is a a State Highway. The stop bar needs more depth and repainting to a better visual cue of danger ahead, and another major safety factor could be easily added: A painted cross walk, from Fairground and Young Street to the existing sidewalk in front of the blue building. Now, more than ever, safety is a major selling point for drawing residential students to Columbia. Both roads at this intersection are state highways, and too often, pass off responsibility for the situation to the Highway District Office in Somerset. This unfortunate, because that office, more than ever, is innovative, receptive to new ideas, and adapts very quickly to changing needs. - EW.
Clicking Read More accesses the Album of the Monument Moving Day and related photo(s). Sun, 6 Aug 2017, at 5:36amCT, the album had 13 pictures, with more to be added today.

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Bro. Bill Davenport - As long as he was there, move went well



2017-08-06 - 400 Block of Fairground Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
VFW member Bro. Bill Davenport watch from the LWC Apartments across Fairground Street, as the delicate, methodical work to move the monument to its new location at 500 Green Hills Road was underway. His presence must have provided a measure of safety, as all went well while he was there. - EW.

Clicking Read More accesses the Album of the Monument Moving Day and related photo(s). Sun, 6 Aug 2017, at 7:45amCT, the album had 14 pictures, with more to be added today.

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