Groundbreaking for Veterans’ Memorial Monument is Sunday at 2 p.m.

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Veterans' Memorial project will reach a milestone at Riverfront Park in Niles on Sunday.
Lou Liebetrau, Veterans' Memorial Committee co-chair, said a ground breaking ceremony for the Veterans' Memorial is set for 2 p.m.
Don Alsbro, a retired Benton Harbor resident with a distinguished military and professional career in education, will lead the ground breaking ceremony, she said.
Alsbro's career includes several active duty tours as army hospital administrator, nine years of active duty, including two tours in Vietnam, and a P.hD in Educational Leadership from Wayne State University, Detroit, in 1987.
During his military career he has received the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and several other awards, Liebetrau said.
And, she said, in 1991 Alsbro was elected to Western Michigan University's ROTC Hall of Fame.
Alsbro, an active member of the Veterans of War Post 4952 in Berrien Springs, and also a member of the Berrien Springs American Legion Post, said every community needs a place where people can gather to honor soldiers, both those who were killed during wars and those who are still alive.
He thinks memorial monuments help keep alive the memory of what many American soldiers have endured during wars, so that younger generations won't forget.
Alsbro said he will make a few general remarks at the ceremony before inviting people in the audience to take part in the the actual ground breaking.
He hopes many veterans will help turn dirt to create a sense of participation
So far the committee has raised more than $60,000 toward the project, Liebetrau. said. The total cost has been estimated at roughly $100,000.
She said raising funds has included a lot of footwork, including door-to-door visits and writing letters asking for donations.
Single donations have ranged from $25 to $15,000, Liebetrau said.
She said the sale of Veterans Memorial bricks has raised over $20,000 alone.
And, it seems like donations keep coming in.
Liebetrau said she received another $1,000 donation this week.
In addition to donating money, several business have also donated material and their own time to the project, she said.
Alsbro said one veteran will bring a book he has published to the ground breaking ceremony.
All proceeds of the book sale will go to the Veterans Memorial, he said.
Alsbro said there is also a chance "Lest We Forget," a movie with interviews from several Berrien County veterans, will be for sale at the ground breaking ceremony.
He hopes it will be possible to make proceeds of video sales also go to the Veterans Memorial.

Berrien County

Brandywine Middle/High School to go remote Oct. 23 to 30

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 152,862 cases, 7,129 deaths

Cass County

Cass District Library to host annual book sale

Cass County

Missing dog found shot, family grieving after five day search

Dowagiac

Honor Credit Union donates to annual Tree of Love campaign

Berrien County

Spectrum Health reinforces commitment to equity

News

Candidates for 78th district seat participate in community forum

Berrien County

Berrien County Trial Court receives continued funding

Business

Niles businesses collaborate to sweeten their offerings

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass counties report one new COVID-19 death each

Cass County

Overdose fatality linked to ‘purple heroin’ in Van Buren County

Buchanan

Three new projects on the horizon for Buchanan

Business

New yoga studio opens in downtown Niles

Dowagiac

Dowagiac clerk shares answers to voter FAQs

Buchanan

Expansion underway at Niles-Buchanan YMCA location

Berrien County

Third annual writers conference goes virtual Saturday

News

Fire contained at former National Standard building

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports three new COVID-19 deaths

Dowagiac

Patrick Hamilton Elementary School closes for three days due to COVID-19

Dowagiac

Don, Joan Lyons donate $28,000 to Dowagiac Union Schools

Buchanan

Registration open for YMCA’s 39th annual Thanksgiving Day Run

Dowagiac

Dowagiac schools receive positive audit

News

Niles Township passes sewage increase

Business

Four Flags Antique Mall acquires new owners