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VFW AIDS LADY LIBERTY REPAIRS

Post 2761 revives a special lady

VFW Posts around the world are known for their support of troops, veterans and their family members. Along with aiding military personnel, the VFW prides itself on community activism. Post 2761 in Benton, Ill., is a great example of how VFW Posts get involved in their communities in more ways than serving the military. 

Over 60 years ago, the Boy Scouts of America donated a Lady Liberty replica statue to the city of Benton in recognition of the Boy Scouts 40th anniversary.  The statue resides at the Benton Public Library and has for many years. 

VFW Post 2761 Commander John Metzger explained, “This statue is very special. There are about 50 or 60 of these statues around the country, all donated by The Boy Scouts. We are lucky to have one of them, and it’s unfortunate what has happened to it.”

Up until the statue was vandalized a couple of years ago, it resided outside the library doors. After the defacing, VFW members helped move the statue into the entry way of the library to keep it safe from further damage. 

Unfortunately, the statue requires major repairs due to its old age and the recent damage. The repairs cost more than the library can afford, so they began raising money in the community to help facilitate the conservation of this symbolic statue.  

“VFW is an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, so this seemed like a perfect community cause to donate some of the Post’s money to,” said Metzger.

During the Post meeting in mid January, Metzger and Post members voted to use extra money the Post had set aside for relief to donate to the library to help with the financial burden. Other local veterans organizations and individuals from the community gathered enough money to send the statue off to begin the repairs. 

On Feb. 1, Metzger presented the library with a check from VFW Post 2761. The library is continuing to accept donations to complete the repairs which are thought to take nearly a year.

Once the statue is repaired, the library plans to have it placed back outside where it has been a familiar site to the locals for so many years. VFW and the library hope to landscape a small, secure garden where the statue will be placed. 

“It’s really a good thing we did; we hope it all works out and that we have her back soon,” concluded Metzger.

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