Hometownlife Observer - Wayne & Oakland Counties, Detroit, Michigan
Masons look to cement plans for war monument
June 1, 2006
By Dan Trudeau
Members of the F&A Masonic Lodge 319 in South Lyon want to build a large granite memorial inside the cemetery close to the current monument, and they are looking for the community's help.
Mason Chaplain Justin Sutton said he's already talked to a number of subcontractors and engineers in creating a plan.
City manager Rod Cook said the Masons have not contacted him with plans. In order to build on public land, the lodge would have to obtain approval from the South Lyon City Council and submit construction plans for approval, Cook said.
The proposed monument features four large angels, based off the work of sculptor Walter Russell and in reference to the 1941 speech, "The Four Freedoms," given by President Franklin Roosevelt.
The lodge has been tentatively planning the monument for a year, and an artist's conception of the project is drawing a great deal of attention.
South Lyon Mayor John Doyle said he spoke with Sutton about the plan during Monday's festivities. Doyle said the monument plan appears to be in the preliminary stages. But from what he's seen so far, the mayor said he likes the concept.
"If they can pull it off it will be a nice addition," Doyle said. "They need to bring it to city council and so on, but we'll see how it comes along."
Mason Jim Hamilton said the lodge first conceived of building the monument as a way to honor their friends in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which allows the Masons use its hall for special events.
"We decided that we needed to do something for those guys and for the community," Hamilton said.
The financial aspects of the project have yet to be worked out, though Sutton said the Masons are hard at work resolving those issues. A raffle and other fund raisers are being planned, and Sutton said some local businesses have shown interest in contributing to the project with in-kind donations.
For more information on the Masons' plans, visit www.southlyonwarmemorial.org
Dan Trudeau is a reporter for the South Lyon Herald. Reach him at (248) 437-2011 or at [email protected]