In May of 2007 the Zylman Family lost their son Casey in Iraq. They wanted to do something to honor Caseys memory. Randy Zylman served with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam, and Casey also served with the 25th Infantry as a Calvary Scout during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After much thought it was decided that they wanted to honor the Coleman Community and all Area Veterans with something bigger. The Coleman Veterans Memorial Committee was founded.
There are 3 walkways leading into the center of the court yard. It represents the service men and women who answered the call to duty, coming together from all directions, walks of life, and their own personal reasons to serve our nation and become America's defenders.
The outer circle represents how the individual services circle together to protect our country and how we are unified as one nation and as brothers and sisters. All 5 service flags representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are on the perimeter of the circle.
"Bricks of Honor" are within the inner walkway. The personalized bricks of those who served our nation, it consists of Coleman community members, Midland County, Isabella County and people all over our country who purchased a brick to honor their loved one or friends who served.
The center is where our memorial statues are placed. The Soldiers Cross has been a symbol of a fallen comrade since we began defending our shores. The first soldier is a shade of brown which depicts the living. He represents the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. This Soldier is walking into the court yard to honor a fallen comrade. The 2nd is that of a Woman Combat Soldier (First of its kind) she is also a shade of brown. She also represents Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom standing beside her brother to honor the fallen.
The remaining statues will be a shade of white. This represents the spirits of those who gave their lives in those wars. It also represents their motives were pure when they served. The 3rd Soldiers Statue is from Vietnam Era. His hand is reaching out the shoulder to offer strength. The 4rd is from Korea and the 5th is from WWII and our last statue is from WWI to complete our memorial. They are all filing into the court yard to honor and console a brother.
There are 2 other war memorials in the front of the court yard placed on either side of the American Flag. These are the 2 original Veterans Memorials from the VFW memorial. They were moved here from their original resting place to be a part of this special Memorial. Our Nations Flag is centered on the memorials. The POW/MIA Flag is seated to its left and the State of Michigan flag is on the right.
The Statues are facing away from you as you walk into this memorial so that when you visit our beautiful memorial, you will be walking into the court yard along with the soldiers, taking in all the names of those who served, to those who paid the Ultimate Sacrifice, to pay tribute, honor and reflect with them. This memorial is an educational tool to show what the cost we have paid to be a free nation.
We came into service as individuals, we left as brothers and sisters,
As family, who fought and died for each other.
So come and visit our memorial! Join us and be a part of something special in our community, help us educate the young members of our community.
"United by Sacrifice"
That is the meaning of our memorial. The original stands at the legendary Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, home of the 25th Infantry Division. They have allowed us to share their memorial from across the Pacific!
Honoring those who served,
Dedicated to those who sacrificed!