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Watertown City Council members want to think about proposed 10th Mountain Division memorial

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WATERTOWN — City Council members like the idea of erecting a monument honoring the 10th Mountain Division, but they are not convinced that its location should be near the Thompson Park playground.

The Watertown City Council wants to talk to monument organizers before deciding to approve the four 7-foot-tall slabs to be placed in intersecting sidewalks south of the city-owned playground.

Council members just found out about the plans on Friday.

“It’s a vary laudable goal,” said Councilwoman Roxanne M. Burns, who wants “to give it more thought.”

Expressing concern for vandals damaging the memorial and more visible sites, Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham said he liked an earlier plan to rebuild the playground, rather than erecting the monument at the park.

About 10 Fort Drum supporters from the north country have been working on the project for several months. They would like to raise $150,000 that would be used to get the monument built.

The monument would commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 10th Mountain Division’s reactivation. It also would honor the 70th anniversary of the Allies’ victory in Europe and the end of World War II.

As proposed, the monument would be located in the center of the park between the park’s playground, the historic pavilion, a stone bandstand and the city’s water tower.

It would include four 7-foot-by-10-foot-by-1-foot granite slabs that each would have a plaque honoring the 10th Mountain Division, the reactivation and its history since World War II.

Colorodo-based sculptor Susan Grant Raymond, who created the Fallen Warriors Monument on Fort Drum, has been asked to design the plaques.

The Fallen Warriors Monument was unveiled last October at the post’s Memorial Park.

Organizers hope the monument would be finished by May 1.

It would be dedicated two weeks later when the Armed Forces Parade is held.

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