Group Tries To Restart Arlington Urn Project – Repair Stalled For National Cemetery Object – 19 November 2003

BROOKLINE, NEW HAMPSHIRE — A local women's group is trying to get a piece of the National Women's War Memorial put back. The problem is, it's stuck in New Hampshire.

Urn Funds May Be Tied Up In Insurance

For three years, a half-finished granite urn has sat idle outside a Brookline art school. It's supposed to sit atop a post at the entrance of the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, but because of some red tape, the project is in limbo.

“I'd like to see something done to get it completed, either by myself or by other sculptors,” sculptor John Weidman said.

Six years ago, Wiedman was given the task of creating a replica of the original urn that was mounted at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1997, the 7-ton urn fell 40 feet in a plumbing accident and broke in two.

A granite block was delivered to Wiedman, who worked on the project for two years.

“They said, ‘Go ahead. Don't worry,” Wiedman said. “I needed a contract, and they gave me a nice down payment. They said it would keep coming and not to worry about it.”

Wiedman said he was only paid $4,000, far short of the $110,000 minimum required for the job. When he asked for more money, he said he was told to stop the work.

The Brookline Women's Club is now trying to restart the neglected project. Member Lynne Abt said the funds for the urn are likely tied up in an overdue insurance claim.

“It just feels incomplete,” Abt said.

Abt is also asking her local representative for help. If the funds don't exist, her group has pledged to raise money to ensure that the memorial urn doesn't get forgotten.

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