- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - A year after strong winds uprooted a tree that crushed the Civil War memorial in the eastern Nebraska city of Columbus, restoration of the monument is complete.

A life-sized bronze eagle statue was the last piece put into place on Friday to finish restoration of the monument in time for Memorial Day, the Columbus Telegram reported (https://bit.ly/1mkovBc ).

Workers had already installed the granite pillar on which the eagle sits and remounted two cannons on either side of the eagle at the memorial in Frankfort Square. New vegetation also had been planted.

The pillar was toppled and pieces were broken when a tree fell on it during a storm last May.

Local artist Fred Hoppe sculpted the new bronze eagle. The old statue, which was given to the Platte County Historical Society Museum, was dinged up and cracked, but Hoppe was able to use it while making his design.

The new eagle, which is the size of the actual bird with a 6-foot wing span, was cast in Utah. It is mostly bronze, making it about 10 times heavier than the original statue that was made of metal covered in thin copper.

The memorial, dedicated March 15, 1900, has the names of more than 140 Civil War veterans engraved in it.

The Columbus City Council has approved $62,000 for the project, but most of the cost will be covered by insurance.


Information from: Columbus Telegram, https://www.columbustelegram.com

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