Group needs help moving fallen Marine memorial

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Donations from the community will be needed to keep a Marine Corps memorial in Grand Rapids as the reserve unit moves to Battle Creek.

The reserve center for Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division will be moved to Calhoun County by Sept. 30. 

More than a decade ago, five members of the unit paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Iraq. Their service is memorialized on the property that will be sold after the unit moves. 

A working committee has arranged for the memorial to move a mile and a half north to the cemetery at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. The transport carries a $75,000 estimate. 

“These are West Michigan Marines,” Wayne Luznicky told News 8. “Their families, loved ones and some of their fellow Marines that served with them in Iraq, are all here in West Michigan. So, at their request, we worked to keep it here.”

Luznicky served in Vietnam and leads the Marine Corps League’s Grand Rapids detachment. He is one of the committee members advocating for the memorial move.

A GoFundMe page created about a week ago has a $70,000 goal.

Luznicky said the costs quickly add up because each of the five pillars weighs about one ton. The centerpiece will likely be rebuilt brick-by-brick because of the intricacies of its design.

“Alpha Company brought those bricks back from Fallujah with them,” Luznicky explained.

Logistics for the move are still being ironed out. The plan is to hold a dedication ceremony once the memorial is situated at its new home.

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