A Teen Built a Veterans Memorial for His Hometown
By: Alvin Xu
A 17-year-old teen named Dominique Claseman built a veterans memorial when he found out that his hometown didn’t have one.
His father, Mark Jurgensen, thought his idea was an ambitious plan. He said that "I told Dominique when he was starting to kind of talk about his Eagle Scout project that because he's the Scoutmaster's son that he needs to go big or go home."
Claseman came up with a modest design by getting ideas from other towns’ veteran's memorials. "I was originally picturing just a walkway with 21 boot steps and pavers on the side, along with a main stone and a couple flags." He thought that it would take $15,000 to build. He started fundraising to collect money.
According to Claseman, candidates aren’t supposed to use digital communications in the Eagle Scout projects. Instead, he put up flyers and spoke at local events. He said that "Pretty much it was either word-of-mouth or going door to door.”
His methods worked, and when he ended the fundraising, he had $77,777 to spend on the project. He got to work right away. When it was finished, it was shown to the town on Memorial Day. 280 engraved pavers lead to flag poles and places where people can rest and sit. This is surrounded by plants.
His neighbors told him how much they appreciated what Claseman had done for the town during the celebration. “There's one person that came up to me and they said that they are so happy to see this. They've been living in this town for 10 to 15 years and they were waiting for something like this to even happen.”