Maplewood to bid two veterans memorials

Maplewood City Hall
Maplewood City Hall

The Maplewood City Council decided at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 11 to send out two plans for a new veterans memorial for estimates. Ralph Bicknese of Maplewood architecture firm Hellmuth & Bicknese presented three options to the council.

Maplewood, Missouri
Maplewood, Missouri

The budget for the memorial, to be constructed in front of Maplewood City Hall and feature a memorial wall, benches and trees is $75 thousand. The council liked a version presented last year but the estimated cost was over budget.

The three versions presented at the Aug. 11 meeting were estimated to cost less and while the council liked one of the three options, all the members agreed that they wanted to approve the best option.

“These are veterans after all,” said Mayor James White. “We need to do this right.”

The original design featured a larger plaza and more landscaping as well as plans to replace the ponds with new ones but Bicknese estimated the cost could approach $140 thousand.


  1. The memorial needs to be in location that is theft and vandal proof. A prior memorial, to the Maplewood men who served in WWI and who perished in that war, was located in what is now Ryan Hummert Park, at the corner of Sutton and Lyndover. It was a huge bronze plaque. It was stolen and sold to a scrap dealer. It was recovered and the last I know it was in the basement of the School Administration building. It should be a part of the new memorial.

    • I would like to see the plaque from the old memorial that was at the corner of Sutton and Lyndover, incorporated into the new Veterans’ Memorial. I have heard various stories of it being in the school administration’s basement, in the basement of Richmond Height’s and also Maplewood’s basements, and in the basement of a past Maplewood alderman or government official’s basement. Don’t know where it is, but it would be nice to add to the new memorial too. And as I said below, I would rather see it in one of our city parks, as I said below.

      • The plaque was stored at the MRH Central Office for many years to ensure its safety after attempts to steal it from its location in Ryan Hummert Park (formerly the site of an MRH school). Approximately a year ago, it was transferred to the City of Maplewood where it is currently held by the city’s Public Works Department.

  2. I would much prefer seeing a Veteran’s Memorial be in one of our parks….Ryan Hummert, my first choice…..and Deer Creek, my second. I remember the first WWII Memorial up at the corner of Sutton and Lyndover, that disappeared. Used to walk by it many times, when I was younger. I think more people could enjoy it in one of the parks…..we could not enjoy it, if it was in front of City Hall. As someone mentioned….you usually go into that building from the back. Also if you think about it, there isn’t any parking available in the front….used to be on the side, but no longer. If a memorial would be in Ryan Hummert Park, people would also enjoy it, during the Summer Concerts. Ryan Hummert gets my vote….

  3. Hmm, maybe the first time I have read this many comments on a 40 south article and didn’t find one that I mostly sided with. That being said, I am glad to see people voicing their opinions on the matter since it is an important subject (at least to me). Like most things at the local government level, there should be a solution that makes most people happy.
    Personally, I support placing a reminder in a park where kids play that says if you serve this community and die for it, we will be grateful. We value sacrifice in our community. I have the same sentiment with a Veteran’s Memorial. At the same time, I am with with those who find it a bit excessive or inappropriate to spend money on landscaping in the guise of a memorial.
    Im not entirely sure what the new proposed plan for the veteran’s memorial looks like, but if it even slightly resembles the one from a year ago, it should definitely be tossed in the garbage. I think the previous plan included flags for only four of the five armed branches. I can’t make this stuff up. I would rather see nothing built instead of that. The plan needs to start with a fresh idea and be unique. Make it something that reflects the artistic community we live in and also shows thanks to veterans. One of the best veteran’s memorials I have seen is the “above and beyond” veteran memorial- so simple but creative and powerful. Money is too valuable to just be squandered. If being spent, it should make Maplewood better. There is no reason both sides can’t walk away from this happy.

  4. A monument for $75k is a very small tribute to those that have sacrificed in order the four above citizens could retain their rights under the U.S. Constitution, such as Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Right to Bear Arms, etc, etc. Instead of speaking, Japanese, German, Russian or praying to Budda, or not being allowed to even own the Holy Bible. Try taking a Holy Bible into Vietnam where during the war Christians were in the majority in the South. The Communist will put you on the next plane home.

    The Mayor and those who are concerned are only showing their appreciation to the Veterans for service to this great country of ours.

    It is not the Mayors job to find anyone a job. Veterans may have a harder time finding a job, because what job they had in service may not transfer to the civilian market. I found that out myself as an Artillery Operations Chief. I soon found out upon retirement there is no artillery in civilian life. Let me say a Veteran muts improvise, adapt, and overcome the situation.

    As said many times before, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE and if you can read this thank a teacher, if you can read it in English, thank a Veteran.

    America, The Home of the Free Because of the Brave, Never Forget, God, Country, Corps, Family, Semper Fidelis.

    • These are my favorite retorts. “Freedom is not Free”. Last time I checked, Police are shooting people in the streets. Are we really free? No. In the first 24 days of 2015, Police shot and killed more people than England and Wales did in the last 24 years! So thanks for that freedom.

      My favorite part is that the people that say this act like we are the only country in the world with freedoms when of the of the 193 UN member nations, a majority are free democratic societies.

      I do thank veterans for their service, however, sacrificing the future to remember the past is stupid.

      • NEWS FLASH
        NEWS FLASH

        August 13, 2015

        4 – F O U R more people were NOT – repeat NOT killed by Police last night in North St Louis
        These people were NOT repeat – NOT KILLED by Police
        The body count is now 126 up from 101 a year ago.
        The popular TV Show – EMPIRE cancelled it’s bus stop auditions in St. Louis- why???
        Beats me? You would think that all the international attention being focused here for the celebration of the death of “The Gentle Giant” would have clearly shown how much the citizens regard the value of lives.
        HERE’S the news headline you’re never going to see in the St Louis Post-Dispatch:
        Post Dispatch sports reporters should combine their formidable talents for play-by-play reporting to creat slay-by slay reporting and put the Daily kill count in a box score format on the front page with a “a jump” to the sports page since it seems to be a bew BLOOD SPORT??
        For Example:
        The old sports pine box scores on people killed in the St Louis snitch free zones last night:
        MORONS 4
        POLICE O

        MORONS 126
        POLICE o1
        You need to do some fact checking before making making stupid comments.

        • First off, congratulations “R,” on hiding behind an initial. Very commendable.

          Secondly, gosh you’re smart. Thanks for your wonderful insights and for doing all the fact-checking work for us.

    • I’ll rue the day someone from Vietnam comes to my home to take away my “Holy Bible”, but since this country has been in existence, it’s been my neighbors trying to shove it in.

  5. Mayor White – What about the rest of the community? Can we stop living in the past? Thanks for your service as a Police Officer, but please stop spending money on memorials for your comrades. Seriously though…..500K for memorials…..maybe instead of memorializing them you could spend 500K on getting them jobs, healthcare and other means to survive so we won’t be memorializing the ones that are still alive. I again suggest that we as a community considering recalling the Mayor.

    • Mayor Wright, please just ignore these unpatriotic comments. I doubt these remarks are from Maplewood residents but I could be wrong. The Communist remarks from COMRADE PAUL are offensive, divisive and clearly show his preference for the color “RED”. Due your memorial for our fallen heros who gave their lives so the the likes of COMRAD PAUL can also be heard. Thanks for your service as a police officer and public servant.

  6. this seems like a lot of money to spend on landscaping for city hall. surely there’s other city improvements that take priority over this. nothing against veterans. however putting a few flag poles next to city halls new landscaping is hardly a proper memorial. sounds more like a a retreat for cigarette smokers. we have so many roads is terrible condition. that money could be spent more effectively.

    • Great point Matt, not sure when we voted to spend 75k on a veterans memorial or $400k on the Ryan Hummert memorial, but both seem line a misappropriation of tax dollars to “pet” causes. Can’t image what $75k would do for educating our future generations out of text books that were published more recently than the veterans generation.

      But what am I saying, history is obviously learned out of a koi pond in front of city hall.

      • As far as I know, the money for Ryan Hummert memorial did not come from any tax dollars. It was private contributions and fundraising efforts. Someone correct me if I am wrong!

        • Ryan hummert memorial is a great example of a memorial that should be built. he died in maplewood while on duty for maplewood. that young mans life was taken way before his time. however, we have several veteran memorials throughout the city to remind us about, and pay respects to are veterans. I just think it’s pretty shifty to use a veterans memorial as an excuse to re-vamp the front tof city hall. an entrance rarely used by the public. parking is in the back. maybe building a memorial at the new school addition would be more appropriate. and less costly. if all our roads were in good shape, you would hear me complain. but maplewood has some bad infrastructure that’s in desperate need of repair. just head east on Lyndover from Bellevue.

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