Memorial Day will be the kickoff to a fundraising drive that will help expand and upgrade the DeGlopper Memorial.
The memorial, located in the town center at the intersection of Grand Island Boulevard and Baseline Road, honors Islander Charles N. DeGlopper, who posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II, and others killed in action in American conflicts. The property is set to undergo a major upgrade with long-term plans to secure federal monument status for the site.
The effort is a partnership of the Pfc. Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9249, Grand Island Moose Lodge 180 and the Grand Island American Legion Post No. 1346.
Part of the town's annual Memorial Day ceremonies at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30, will include an overview of the planned expansion, which will take over part of the property that once was home to a vacant gas station.
A project completion date is eyed for the summer of 2017.
Features in the offing include:
•A life-sized bronze statue of DeGlopper on a granite pedestal.
•A new parking lot and main entrance with "DeGlopper Memorial" inscribed in granite.
•Pine trees to screen the plaza nearby.
•A 36-foot star honoring Gold Star Mothers.
•An 82nd Airborne emblem
•Walkways, ark benches and light posts.
•An eternal flame.
•A wall with the name of every serviceman who served from the Island inscribed.
The memorial to those killed in action will remain, as will the cannon.
To donate to the expansion fund, either the Pfc. Charles N. DeGlopper Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9249 or the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation will accept tax-deductible donations for the project. As well, donors can contribute at www.gofundme.com/DeGlopperMemorial.