CLC dedicates two new statues honoring military veterans
Two new statues honoring U.S. military veterans were dedicated at the College of Lake County Monday as part of the college's annual Veterans Day ceremony.
The statues were added to the college's existing veterans memorial behind Willow Cafe and in front of Willow Lake. The larger of the two stands 14 feet tall and depicts a dove of peace flying above a field of stars in front of three flagpoles. Sculptor Gary Tillery told the crowd at the ceremony that he set out to create a piece that showed all branches of the military, represented by the stars, working together toward the common goal of peace.
"It seems simple and straightforward out there, but it was complicated to do," Tillery said of the work, titled "Defenders of Peace."
The other statue is of a soldier gazing down in remembrance. Tillery said the idea for that statue came from Wayne J. Maczko, a retired CLC HVAC engineer and veteran.
Maczko raised about $75,000 to build the statues.
"I hope they serve as a daily reminder to the students and staff that our way of life should never be taken for granted," Tillery said. "Let's keep that in mind and get out and vote tomorrow."
The CLC board approved the construction of the statues in April and signed a $165,000 contract with Timeless Creations Inc. of Highwood. CLC Board Chairman Richard Anderson said the money Maczko raised helped defray the cost of the project.
Anderson, himself a Vietnam-era veteran and a CLC graduate, said the college has long been welcoming to veterans. He said back when he attended CLC, the largest campus group was the student veterans, which had about 2,500 members at its height.
CLC President Lori Suddick said as part of the college's commitment to retain veteran students they have a program where every new veteran student is paired with another student in the veteran program.