On Memorial Day 2023, a new mural by artist Kathryn Palmer-Weigers will grace Downtown Fair Haven in honor of Vermont veterans from the Revolution to the present.
The tribute mural in Fair Haven comes after a yearlong planning process with input and support of local community members, veterans, businesses, historical societies, including Marine Corps veteran Kevin Durkee of Fair Haven.
Durkee, who owns the building that will be the site of the tribute, has said that it is important for younger generations to know the sacrifice of service members in uniform and veterans. It will be unveiled at 10:30 AM, Saturday, May 27, before the Lifenet Helicopter lands at 11:30AM, according to Sean Galvin of the Fair Haven Rescue Squad.
In 2020, two young men from Fair Haven, Joshua Ferguson and Benjamin Howard, a USAF Pilot, proposed a series of events and projects aimed at honoring Vermont veterans. To support their efforts, Ferguson and Howard formed the Vermont Veterans Tribute Task Force (VVTTF), which will continue its focus on special projects to honor Vermont veterans until the 250 year celebration in 2026. The VVTTF met monthly through 2022 to plan and hold town halls for veterans, invite partners to POW Vigils, and meet veterans throughout Vermont.
A project planning document for the mural lists several community partners to include The Crown Point Road Association, Town of Bennington, Town of Fair Haven, The Wooden Soldier, Hometown Heroes, Don Amorosi (Northeast POW-MIA Network), Friends of the Hubbardton Military Road Association, Ripley Camp No. 4 (SUVCW), TW Ferguson Corp., Ethan Allen Monument Committee (Christian Doran), and others.
“We are grateful to our community for supporting every stage of this special project, and we encourage communities around Vermont to support similar creative efforts as we approach the 250 celebration of our country,” said organizer Joshua Ferguson. “We are deeply grateful to Kathryn for her artistry and ability to bring creative works to life in efforts to honor Vermont veterans.”
Originally from Maryland, Wiegers has lived in Vermont with her husband and five children for the past 20 years. She studied Biology at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, and received her BA in Natural Sciences from Castleton University. She is a self-taught artist whose artwork and murals can be seen throughout Vermont.
Her most recent works appear at the UVM Medical Center and The Hilton on the Burlington Waterfront. Recently, she was awarded the Vermont Art in the State Buildings and Vermont Arts Council Public Art commission for the new Department of Mental Health Recovery in Essex, Vermont.Now, adding to her impressive works is a tribute to Vermont veterans in Downtown Fair Haven.
Ceil Hunt of the Fair Haven Historical Society was present during the installation of the tribute and expressed support of the work to honor veterans of Vermont. – Press release provided by Benjamin Howard