Union Soldiers Monument Returned to Face East
There was a monumental move in a Fond du Lac park Thursday morning. The Union Soldiers Monument in Veterans Park had the figure on top rotated to face Main Street, rather than the City/County Building.
Herman Bender works with groups to preserve history around the Fond du Lac area. He explains that “it was put up, erected here faced east as basically that is the symbolic direction. It’s the direction of sunrise, renewal, new hope – things like that. Plus the fact that really, mainly the Civil War was fought east of the Mississippi River. And so it also takes into account that this is where the main action of the Civil War was. So there’s a number of reasons it would face east.”
Bender says “well I’m very happy because I think that we’ve corrected something
after 31 years that shouldn’t have been done in the first place – that’s kind
of a moot point now. But I’m just very happy because what I think we’ve done is
we’ve honored the wishes of the people who put it here.”
The soldier on top of the monument was turned to face the park in 1987 – as it was difficult to see the figure through the trees on the Main Street side. After crews rigged up the monument for the move, the figure only took a few seconds for them to rotate and set it back down, which Bender told us “was pretty remarkable. I wasn’t sure how long – but I just
watched and bang, bang, bang, there it was! So I thought that went quite well.
And if you noticed, they didn’t lift it very high because of course they don’t
want to risk dropping anything else, but yeah – it was pretty interesting to
see that. As you said, it was ten, fifteen seconds and it was rotated.”