With the armature fabrication underway, APEX’s Newport, De fabrication shop became a hub, where those responsible for the sculpture, bronze casting and design for this part of the memorial worked together and shared ideas. During this time, the energy and excitement could be felt as soon as anyone entered the shop doors.
It was truly an honor to be working on such a historic project and, more importantly, one that would serve to honor World War II Veterans, many of whom were parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts of those involved in the construction. As a result, not only were our shop doors open to those working on the armatures and sculptures, they were open to those who were to be remembered and honored by this Memorial.
A monumental dedication ceremony was to be held in Washington D.C. in May, 2004 once construction of the Memorial was complete. However, it occurred to many working on this project that a number of the veterans the dedication ceremony would serve to honor may be unable to attend due to lack of transportation, illness or old age.
It was decided that APEX would host a Visitor’s Day and Memorial Ceremony in our shop, before the Eagles and laurel wreaths were shipped to the construction site. Together, with Former Governor Ruth Ann Minner, members of her administration, representatives of our Armed Forces, the tradesmen, craftsmen and artisans that worked on the project, APEX opened its doors to, the local Veterans who were to be remembered and honored by this Memorial and their families. It was truly an amazing and emotionally moving experience, as these brave men and women, who sacrificed and served so selflessly, shared with us their stories, remembered their friends and signed the armatures before they were enclosed in bronze.