Honoring our military: New carved figures debut in Glockenspiel July 4th

July 2016 Posted in Arts, Culture & History
After the Fourth of July Parade in Mount Angel, stop by the Glockenspiel to see the dedication of the new figures honoring the six branches of the  service.

After the Fourth of July Parade in Mount Angel, stop by the Glockenspiel to see the dedication of the new figures honoring the six branches of the service.

By Hannah Kloft

Mount Angel resident Henrietta Dill has envisioned a military theme for the Glockenspiel figures for many years. On July 4, her idea becomes a reality.

The near life-size carved figures will take their posts in the three-story timepiece at the city’s center for the summer – July 4th through Labor Day. Each represents a branch of service: the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Merchant Marines and Navy. The figures make their rounds, each coming front and center in turn, at 11 a.m. and 1, 4 and 7 p.m. daily.

The Glockenspiel’s original figures depicting the community’s history are scheduled to return in September.

Dill understands what life in the military is all about. Her husband was in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years.

“I understand what people have to give up. You’re having to move all around and sometimes you’re left behind while your husband is away for an entire year,” Dill said.

These are the kinds of sacrifices Dill wanted to honor on the most patriotic day of the year.

“It’s something that is very dear to my heart and I think all the people out here, especially in this town, are very patriotic,” Dill said, adding this pride has been demonstrated through the generous donations and contributions toward the project. The entire project was estimated to cost $30,000. Dill is more than two-thirds of the way to the goal.

Terry Kramer of Salem, Mike Reifel of Silverton and Carol Duree of Salem are the artists who carved the figures.

glockenspiel02Before beginning the task of carving the Marine figure, Kramer did plenty of research, including visiting the VFW in Salem. The buttons on the carved Marine are real buttons from the U.S. Marine uniform.

“I really wanted to carve the Marine for my carving partner, who passed away about eight years ago,” Kramer said. “The men and women in our military are fighting and dying for our country. Their service needs to be recognized.”

Although the face is not modeled after his partner, Kramer felt the inspiration came from him. He also had a brother in the Navy, a brother in the Army, and a stepfather in the Merchant Marines.

Reifel, who carved the jolly tuba player, Papa Oom Pa, for the original set of figures, was assigned the Merchant Marine and the Coast Guard. He said he has learned a great deal through this experience.

The U.S. Navy and the Army Nurse were assigned to Duree, who was glad to carve the Army Nurse in honor of her many friends who are nurses, including those who have served during wartime.

Duree said it took her 123 hours to carve the figures. Her dad, Al Duree, was in the Army and her husband, Goode Jones, was in the Navy.

“What was astounding to me was how emotional it was to carve the figures and hear people’s stories,” she said.

Shari Watkins of Salem was responsible for painting the six figurines. Her son and late husband served in the  Marine Corp.

“We can trace people in my family who have served our country back to the Revolutionary War,” Watkins said. “I grew up in a time when celebrating the Fourth of July meant something.”

It is Watkin’s hope when younger generations see the new figures and hear the music they will take time to reflect on what their freedom means and understand it comes with a price.

“Even though the figures aren’t real, they are special,” Watkins said. “If the work we did just touches a few people and gives them a sense of community and country, that’s a few more people who understand what our freedom means.”

Songs associated with each branch of service will play as the representative figure comes to the fore. The selections were compiled under the direction of Dave Chartrey and recorded by the Z Musikmakers of Mount Angel.

God Bless America will replace Edelweiss as the music performed as the two carved children swing out from the top story at the end of each presentation. It was sung by children from St. Mary’s Elementary School under the direction of music teacher Monica Lewin and recorded by Stu Rasmussen in the neighboring Mt. Angel Performing Arts Center.

“Hearing the children sing brought tears to my eyes…other parents were wiping their eyes as well,” Dill said.

Dill said she hopes the new Glockenspiel figures will serve as a “…reminder to people that there are sacrifices being made all the time so that they can live free.”

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