About the Milan Veterans Wall
Milan resident Tom Dupuis contacted City Councilman Michael Armitage in November of last year with an idea of building a veterans’ wall of honor in Milan. After much discussion as to the location, they worked together on a plan to build it at the current site of the “Blue Star Memorial,” at the entrance to Wilson Park. “It makes sense to incorporate such at tribute together with the Blue Star and World War II memorial,” according to Michael Armitage.
At the March 28th council meeting, the Milan City Council approved the plan to move forward. “We are happy to have the support of council,” said Tom Dupuis. Tom Dupuis, Michael Armitage, and Linda Gilson have also been sharing the plan with local groups throughout March, including the Garden Club, VFW, Beautification Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, and Moving Milan Forward.
“This wall will be unique,” says Tom Dupuis, “it will include the names of not only those that are deceased, but anyone from Milan who has honorably served in our military. We will be the only community in Monroe or Washtenaw County to have such a comprehensive tribute.” Anyone who has served in the military or is currently serving, and has gone to school in Milan, has lived, or currently lives in the 48160 zip code are eligible to have their name on the wall. Names will be accepted of persons both living and deceased. “Our goal is to have at least 150 committed by June.” The wall will be designed to allow for further expansion.
Lots of work has gone into planning the design of the wall. Mr. Armitage indicates that considerations for the granite were made based on being a product of the United States and its ability to have future names engraved on sight. He also promises that the structure and surrounding grounds will be very attractive, “we aren’t putting up a couple slabs of granite and calling it good, we are dedicated to making this a destination point in our city.”
According to Councilman Armitage, the wall will be financed through private donations and money being raised from those requesting a name on the wall, “In order to pay for this project, we greatly appreciate donations when adding a name to the wall, but it is not required. If you have not served in the military, but would like to help support the project, engraved brick pavers are also for sale for $100.” The brick pavers will be placed in a plaza area in front of the wall.
Moving Milan Forward has agreed to take on the project for its 501c3 status. “I’m so excited to be working with Moving Milan Forward on this project,” said Michael Armitage, “they are an organization committed to Milan, and it just makes sense.” He further indicates that there will be an order form with online payment options, which will increase the convenience for those wanting to place a name on the wall, or purchase a brick.
There are also opportunities for larger donations to be recognized, including the sponsorships of granite benches, and sponsorships that will be recognized on a dedication plaque. As the project continues, they will also be looking to local businesses to support the building project. The group intends on having the wall dedicated on Veterans’ Day of this year.
More information is available at www.milanveteranswall.org, facebook under “Help Build Milan’s Veterans’ Wall of Honor,” or by calling Michael Armitage at 734-474-1574 or emailing Tom Dupuis at firstname.lastname@example.org.