Veterans Memorial Plaza

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Opening Ceremony

Sunday, May 30, 2021, at 3 p.m.

Join us for the opening ceremony at the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veterans Memorial Plaza. 

Special Guests

CAPT Daniel L. Mode, Chaplain, U.S. Seventh Fleet
Steven D. Sloan, O.D, great-nephew of Chaplain Schmitt

Event Emcee

Gary Dolphin

Opening Ceremony Graphic

2020 Improvement Project

A  $3.2 million improvement project at the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veterans Memorial Plaza is currently under construction. Funded entirely by the Dubuque Racing Association, the project seeks to honor all veterans by unifying and enhancing all existing nearby memorials.

The project includes a new memorial for Chaplain Schmitt composed of a decorative swirling concrete path that transforms into an elevated boardwalk extending from the Veterans Memorial Plaza over the pond. A circular landing that contains a sculpture titled "Skyward" will be located at the end of the boardwalk. An opening in the sculpture will allow visitors to read a poem etched on the inside. At night, subtle colorful lighting will be used to honor veterans and add prominence to the memorial. 

Veterans Memorial Plaza

The Veterans Memorial Plaza opened in 2009 and included a curved wall dedicated to the branches of service and the wars they served. Flags flew high in the background bracketing an American flag with a POW/MIA banner below it. In the center, a 6-ton granite globe, 5-feet in diameter sat among pavers and benches, each sold to raise money for the project initially. Customized pavers continue to be available for sale to honor each Veteran.

Purchase a Customized Paver

Customized pavers are available for purchase to honor a special veteran in your life. Several size options are available including the ability to add an emblem, flag, or logo. Learn more about purchasing pavers.


Resident, Louis Kartman, a former U.S. Marine who survived the Korean War and the famous “Frozen Chosin” Reservoir battle, wanted his city to have a veterans memorial. He began garnering support for the project in late 2006, and it gained momentum – finding enthusiasm from local veteran’s organizations and the general public. Dubuque city administrators agreed to be a partner on the project. The groundbreaking was held in August 2007 and the plaza opened on Veterans Day 2009. Close to 2,500 attended the ribbon cutting. Read more about the history of the Veterans Memorial Plaza.

Contact Us

  1. Stephen Fehsalemail
    Park Division Manager
    Phone: 563.589.4263
    Fax: 563.589.4391

    Bunker Hill
    2200 Bunker Hill Rd. Dubuque, IA 52001
    Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.