Honor monument re-set

HOUGHTON The Purple Heart Monument in Veteran’s Park has been repaired.

On Thursday morning, Terry Wiitanen, manager of Champion Monument of Hancock, oversaw the re-set and repair of the monument that was vandalized a week ago in the park.

“It went pretty easy,” Wiitanen said. “We had the right equipment, the right guys, and the backhoe operator was excellent, and when you got the right people and tools, everything goes smoother.”

The monument was held to the base by means of an epoxy, along with three-quarter inch diameter stainless steel pins, Wiitanen said, adding that to dislocate the stone from its base would take incredible force and could only be done intentionally.

After the repair was made to the monument, a ceremony was conducted, which included a moment of silence and a hand salute, Joe Tormala, combat veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart said. Tormala said Military Order of the Purple Heart has not given him information yet as to when a rededication of the monument will take place.

The monument, as its wording states, is in honor of all “our men and women wounded in all our wars.”

Also damaged during the vandalism attack was a plaque commemorating those killed in combat during World War II. The plaque, secured to the brick memorial wall by iron bolts, was torn loose, but showed no sign of the use of prying tools. The plaque has also been reset, using a strong epoxy glue to re-secure the bolts to the wall by the Houghton Public Works Department.