Media Logic’s Lindsey Bruntz liked the idea and lined up sponsors for the project. Industrial Welding, Chamberlain Concrete, Northeastern Junior College’s welding program and the City of Sterling quickly signed on and the project was under way.
From an original idea of planting a tree to honor veterans, the project grew into hardscaping the walkway with colored rock and steel silhouettes of military themes.
Sterling’s Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion members were drafted to help with the dedication, and NJC’s Contemporary Choir, under the direction of Prof. Celeste Delgado-Pelton, opened the ceremony by singing the National Anthem.
Hettinger and Joel Pitre of University Auto Parts symbolically planted a white blossoming crabapple tree, and Joe Notrario, commander of the Sterling American Legion post, welcomed those attending the ceremony.
“We hope this can be a teaching moment for our young people,” Notario said. “A lot of people forget about the sacrifices of serving (in the military) and the sacrifices their families make. We hope this can be a reminder of those sacrifices.”
The ceremony concluded with the cutting of a ribbon.