Veterans Memorial Plaza

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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. 

Funded entirely by the Dubuque Racing Association, a $3.2 million improvement project was completed in 2021. The project sought to honor all veterans by unifying and enhancing all existing nearby memorials. The improvements also included 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" is located at the end of the boardwalk. An opening in the sculpture allows visitors to read a poem etched on the inside. At night, subtle colorful lighting honors veterans and adds prominence to the memorial. A Veterans Memorial Plaza Rededication Ceremony was held on Sunday, May 30, 2021. Special guests included CAPT Daniel L. Mode, Chaplain, from the U.S. Seventh Fleet, and Steven D. Sloan, O.D, great-nephew of Chaplain Schmitt.

How To Locate a Paver

Locate a paver at the Veterans Memorial Plaza using the interactive online directory. Start by typing the last name of the person you are trying to locate into the search bar. Choose the name from the record drop-down list. Then, click on the highlighted paver to open an information dialog box with paver location (ie. ROMEO 1) and custom engraved message. A large printed directory is also available at the memorial.

If you have identified an error on the directory, such as a misspelling or an incorrect memorial location, please submit an error report form so it can be corrected. We apologize for any errors identified. Thank you!

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 Fehsal | email
    Park Division Manager
    Phone: 563.589.4263
    Fax: 563.589.4391

    Leisure Services
    Ruby Sutton Building
    1157 Central Ave. Dubuque, IA 52001

    Monday - Thursday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.