KEARNEY, Mo. — Google the word ‘hero’ and you’ll find mentions of great courage and feats of bravery.
A group in Kearney wants to honor America’s heroes, and there’s a high-tech method to their planned memorial.
Tom Sloan shows off renderings of the planned Heroes Monument., which would be built on this five-acre plot of land inside Jesse James Park. Sloan served in the U.S. Army for three years during the Vietnam War era, and he’s always wanted to honor heroes in a lasting way.
“It’s always been close to my heart to do something nice, not only for those guys, but for all of the military,” Sloan said. “They deserve it.”
Sloan and his committee envision a ‘smart monument.” — one that comes equipped with high-tech QR codes, that when read with a smartphone, will take users to an online page dedicated to each hero.
“We’re trying to acquire an american flag from every single military base in the world,” Kent Kremlacek explained. He’s supervising Flags For Our Fallen, which is a partner project that will cooperate with the monument.
And it won’t stop with the military. Heroes Monument plans call for this tribute to honor police, firefighters and other first responders too.
“They’re as important to us or they should be as the military guys,” Jay Bettis, City of Kearney, said. “Some of those give the ultimate sacrifice as far as I’m concerned.”
Sloan and the others involved in this project emphasize this isn’t merely a kearney-focused endeavor. They plan to use the memorial to honor American heroes from everywhere. And potentially touch thousands of lives with it.
“It’s for everybody. Not just in missouri,” Kremlacek said. “It’s for everyone in surrounding states. It’s for everybody.”
“If they bring tears to your eyes, they’re your heroes,” Sloan said.
And to these men, they’re worthy of our respect.
Members of the Heroes Monument Foundation say they need a total of $250,000 in donations to complete the project.