The Savanna Veterans Memorial is a commemorative site located at the north entrance to Savanna overlooking the Mississippi River and the newly constructed Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge. It was created to honor and recognize the service of our community’s veterans; past, present, and future. The Memorial provides a reverential venue for residents and visitors alike to reflect upon the sacrifices made by their veteran family members and to demonstrate our community’s recognition of the contributions made by all who have served in the armed forces of the United States.
The most prominent features of the Memorial are its two 22-foot, double-sided paver walls that display over 700 granite “memory bricks” which include the names and service information honoring veterans with a connection to Savanna.
The Memorial also features three large granite monuments. The two outside monuments have the logos of the six branches of the armed services: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. The middle monument has an inscription which reads, “Dedicated to the people of Savanna, Illinois who support those in the armed forces of the United States. A commemoration to the living – A memorial to the dead – A remembrance to the missing.”
Immediately behind these granite monuments are three flagpoles. The center flagpole is 40 feet high and flies the U.S. flag which is flanked on either side by 35-foot flagpoles flying the State of Illinois and POW flags. In addition, the Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge plaque is mounted on a granite monument in the northwest corner of the Memorial facing the new bridge honoring Dale Gardner, a deceased veteran and former NASA Astronaut from Savanna, and our local veterans that was opened in November of 2018.
In the Spring of 2021, a visitor’s pavilion will be constructed on the west end of the Memorial property overlooking the river and new bridge. The pavilion will feature picnic tables and bench seating, providing visitors the opportunity to linger longer enjoying the beautiful views and while honoring and remembering those who served.
The Memorial has created and fostered a sense of community pride and brought a renewed sense of patriotism to the community.