Windermere leaders approve design for veterans monument

The monument will feature six pedestals on the outer edge of the town’s flag plaza to honor each military branch and the Great Seal of the United States.

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  • | 10:34 a.m. August 17, 2017
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WINDERMERE – During a special meeting held July 24, Windermere Council members agreed on a proposed design for a veteran monument around the flag plaza in front of Town Hall.   

The project, which has been three years in the making, was first envisioned by Home At Last founder and longtime Windermere resident Bill Criswell.

Criswell, who served in the U.S. Naval Construction Battalion in the 1940s, helped build makeshift base camps, hospitals, airfields and bunkers for the U.S military during World War II.

When Criswell initially proposed the idea of turning one of the town’s public parks into a Veteran Memorial Park, the council turned it down. However, upon hearing of his idea, several town architects offered to help Criswell make his vision into a reality and create a formal area to remember those who served the country. 

“The whole concept is about letting people know that we respect veterans,” said Stephen Withers, a retired Windermere architect. “In my day, it was either you were a Vietnam veteran or you threw rocks at Vietnam veterans. And those were the only two sides there were. … It was really a rough time in history for veterans, but we’ve been getting better … so (the monument) is just to say thank you for your service.” 

The project, funded through citizen donations, will cost $25,000 to construct, Withers said. It will have six pedestals on the outer edge of the town’s flag plaza — five of which will bear a bronze plaque recognizing each military branch. The sixth pedestal will contain the Great Seal of the United States and an inscription.

George Poelker, committee chairman for the project in the Windermere Rotary Club, hopes visitors will use the memorial as a contemplative area once it is installed on Nov. 11.

“It will provide spaces for people to think, to think about the country, to think about the sacrifices that people have made to make this country what it is,” Poelker said.

To date, the project’s team has raised a little more than $10,400, but anyone who wishes to donate to help make the project a reality may visit the Gofundme campaign at

“It’s just a beacon of recognition within the community that will be there,” said Stephen Fasen, project designer. “But it all goes back to Bill Criswell’s vision.” 


Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected]


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