New London mural draws attention
Art commemorates area veterans
By John Faucher
The Wolf River Art League’s latest mural project in downtown New London is a special one, especially for veterans.
The Wolf River Art League, C&R Waterfront and the New London Veterans Memorial Foundation collaborated to create the recent mural which pays tribute to veterans from all six branches of the United States military.
The mural, bordering the New London Veterans Memorial, is one of dozens WRAL have completed throughout town over the past two years.
Two-time Purple Heart veteran Larry Babcock finds this one the best of all.
The mural will feature an eagle with the US flag and the words “Honoring Our Veterans” on the left side.
Across the top length of the mural are all six military branch insignias: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force.
Another portion on the mural’s right side will feature a pair of hands holding a flag and five service medals. Above the hands it will read, “All Are Heroes.”
Babcock, who served two tours in Vietnam as a “tunnel rat” with the U.S. Army 25th Infantry from 1969-71, watched Thursday, May 13 as WRAL volunteers anchored the U.S. Army insignia above the eagle and the flag.
Babcock reached for his phone and took pictures of the process.
“Pretty impressive. Pretty impressive,” he said.
After he slid his phone back into his pocket, Babcock continued looking up for a long time without saying a word.
He spoke about his comrades and experience in Vietnam.
“We went into a tunnel once that took us seven days to get out. Nine of us went in and only two made it out,” said Babcock.
Other veterans appeared in the park as volunteers continued working on the mural last Thursday.
Bill Muskevitsch, a Purple Heart Vietnam veteran who served with the US Army 25th Infantry Armored Division said the work of the New London Veterans Memorial Foundation on the Memorial and the WRAL’s mural should be commended.
“It’s the best thing that ever happened to this town,” said Muskevitsch.
Art League member Peggy Nichols carefully watched as members Kelly Polsin and Brandy Buss carefully hung the remaining insignias on the wall.
Nichols and fellow art league member Lori Schnieder began painting the insignias in the basement of the Washington Center earlier this spring.
Nichols said several other members have been working on parts of the mural as weather permits.
“We want to try and have all of it done by Memorial Day,” said Nichols.
“It was a privilege to do this, it really was,” she said. “Our veterans deserve a lot of respect for what they’ve done for this country.”