Work on Platte City’s first monument dedicated to military veterans received a big lift this week.
A crew with Belger Cartage Service used a crane to place the freshly painted 13-ton USS Platte anchor into its concrete base in the center of a memorial located at Settler’s Crossing Park at the end of Main Street. The accenting granite work can now begin to complete a lengthy project aimed at creating a space for public ceremonies as well as providing a welcoming and easily accessible memorial.
The Platte City Public Works Department recently poured the concrete base after a slight change from original plans.
The proposed setting of a red-colored rock could not be located through Kansas City businesses with outside contracts. The 13-ton anchor recovered from a scrapped U.S. Navy vessel will now sit in the concrete, which will be covered with a light-colored granite.
The city applied for and received a grant from the Platte County Parks and Recreation Department earlier this year, helping to fund the construction of the monument, and the granite accents helped keep the final part of the project within the $76,000 budget.
The plans called for a pedestrian plaza and base for the anchor, which the city acquired from the owner of the scrapped USS Platte (AO-186) — a decommissioned Cimarron class fleet oiler, all of which are named after rivers. A circular walkway and bench wall on the outside will contain medallions for each of the five branches of the United States military — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
The entrance to the plaza will be inset with bronze letters stating “Dedicated to those who serve” and a previously commissioned bronze plaque detailing the history of the USS Platte. Base lighting is also planned.
Work is still expected to be completed by the end of the year.
According to the grant application submitted in December of 2015, city officials believe the proposed memorial “provides a very visible and easily accessible veteran’s memorial,” and “its location in a family oriented public park along the Platte River creates a very approachable monument that ties national service symbolized by the artifact from a US Navy warship and the service medallions with the local geographic feature (the Platte River) for which that ship is named.”
The location, immediately adjacent to a section of the Platte County Master Trail Plan, could in the future offer a trail segment that would pass through Settler’s Crossing Park within 100 feet of the memorial site, the path following the Platte River northeast to the Platte Falls Conservation Area.
The City of Platte City spent a little more than $10,000 prior to the start of monument construction, including artifact acquisition, transportation, temporary placement, plaque purchase and project design. The anchor arrived from Louisiana in March of 2015.
The USS Platte was launched in 1982 and decommissioned in 1999.