How The Memorial Progressed

Click on images to enlarge.

I had this open space that looked like it was a good site for something to happen in. The corner is highly visible from the highway and James street while people are sitting at the stoplight. Its also visible looking out the front of the public library and the city park.

September 4th 2015, Squire and I went to look at rocks and the first one was to rough to paint on and not the right shape. We went somewhere else and looked at a second rock and right away knew this was the rock we needed. Melvin Marsh had this rock and delivered it the next day to the site.

The rock arrived Saturday Morning September 5th 2015. We would like to thank Melvin Marsh for donating the rock, hauling, and setup to the Memorial.

The city approved the concrete on Tuesday September 8th. Now to see how fast I can get a crew here to pour this week. Have a concrete layer lined up for Thursday 9/10/2015, and a landscape crew lined up for Monday 9/14/2015.

Moving along, things are formed up and Chris Hawk Concrete out of Des Moines and his crew are going to start pouring Friday 9/11/2015.

Chris Hawk and his crew got the concrete poured today 9/11/15 all finished at 1:30pm. Will be back tomorrow to sawcut the concrete when it dries.

Saturday 9/12/2015 the crew came out, removed the forms and did the saw cuts in the concrete. So the concrete work is complete, Just waiting for Monday starting with the Landscaping.

Toady 9/15/2015 Nebix Handyman Services were hired to do the landscaping. We used up the pile of dirt to fill in some washouts on the rest of the lot. All of the site work is done and tomorrow they will put in the wood bark and seed.

The landscapers finished up with installing the bark and seeding all off the washed out areas of the lot. Jim Uthe (who I forgot to take a picture of) came and tilled the seed in. Then we setup to water sprinkler and Squire washed the rock and concrete with the pressure washer.

These are the pictures that the artist used for the designs on the rock. And his rough sketch ideas of how he planned to lay out the pictures.

Alan Newman, the painter we hired, painted the background on the rock during the daylight today. 9/21/2015 Then he came back after dark and used the overhead projector to outline the images he's going to come back tomorrow and paint in detail.

9/22/2015 The painter worked on the rock today and got some of the major drawings in but still has a lot of detail to add. On the South side of the rock is the USS Iowa ship on top, a Coast Guard Cutter on the center, and the Bismarck sunk below the surface. On the front is the tomb of the unknown soldier. On the North side we have the plane but there is a lot more detail to go on it and the back. (The guns on the USS Iowa are down so the distinctive 16 inch guns are not seen easily on the silhouette. But if you reference the picture the artist used above the guns are easier to make out)

9/24/2015 more of the detail has been painted in. On the front, the tomb of the unknown soldier is about complete. On the South side, the ships are about complete. Notice the picture of the Bismarck sunk below the water. The back side with the soldiers and tanks has a lot more detail to go, but you can see WWII in the sunray patterns of the sky. The North side has the flags and plane partially completed. Hopes are that tomorrow the painting will be finished.

9/25/2015 Alan completed the painting of the Memorial Rock today. There are two coats of wet-look concrete sealer on the painting so this should last a long time. We have tried to include several pictures of each side of the rock and detailed pictures of each feature. We also set the poles for the lights on the rock. The electrician should be here Wednesday or Thursday to install the light. The missing stars on the 4 flags represent the missing soliders.

On Saturday 10/3/2015 Squire and I installed the flag pole base. On 10/4/2015 Darin Belger came out and finished up the electric for the memorial. Then on 10/5/2015 the rest of the flagpole was installed and the flag was raised.

Cutting of the metal signs by Lasse Boerre.

10/8/2015 The metal, 1/4" steel with black powder coating finish, came in and we got everything installed that we can. We still have one small metal sign that needs painted before we can install it. I recruited friends and drop in's to help with the install. It went faster than I thought, we completed this in four hours. Tony Forneris, Denny Bacon, Tim Schumacher, Vance (A soldier in uniform that stopped by and we put to work.), Squire Hutcheson, Marie Hutcheson, Rick Hutcheson.

10/12/2015 Today was Planting Day. Those helping were Vickie and Jimmy Cook, Sandy Forneris, Denny Bacon, Squire and Rick Hutcheson. We planted Catmint across the front. Little Henry behind the silhouettes. And Lemony Lace Elderberry along the sidewalk to the parking lot. And we also got the tree story sign installed today.

10/13/2015 After a few comments that I needed benches I broke down and bought benches. Those were installed today.

We are finished with everything I had planned.
You never know, I may decide to add more at a later date.

7/16/2016 Today we replaced the first flag at the memorial. The first flag is now displayed in the stairway at my shop.


On August 14th of 2017 we made the addition to the other end of the lot of a Fire and Sheriff's memorial. We want to thank Officer Nihad Hodovic and Officer Christie Arzuri with Car #110 for posing for the picture that the design was made from

Installed the fence on September 1st 2017 to give non-profit organizations of Grimes a place for a sign and contact information so it is readily available to the public.

Michael Forret of Engage Landscaping refreshed the landscaping in May 2019 to the river rock, ornamental grasses, and gray brick edgeing. We planted "Stella de Oro daylillies", ""Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass", and "Northwind Switchgrass" around the memorial.

Thursday the 13th of August 2020 we added two more signs to the memorial site. The signs were cut by DMC Welding & Repair LLC out of Dallas Center and installed by Logan Ward, Rick Hutcheson, and Squire Hutcheson. Later that week we sealed the concrete.

Installed on November 6th 2020, the news signs of the military branches have been added to the memorial. A special thanks to Steve Good of Scrollsaw Workshop for the patterns. Were installed by Dean Clarkson and Rick Hutcheson.


May 13th to May 30th of 2021 we had the rock repainted by Damon Clapper from Dallas Center. Shown are progress pictures of the painting.