Chaplain Schmitt Island Veterans Memorial Improvements Begin Next Week

A $3.2 million improvement project at the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veterans Memorial Plaza is scheduled to begin next week.

In preparation for construction, all existing memorials, including pavers, are being temporarily removed. All memorials will be preserved, protected, and reinstalled when the project is finished. This is being done with the utmost care and reverence. Funded entirely by the Dubuque Racing Association, the project seeks to honor all veterans by unifying and enhancing all existing nearby memorials.

The Dubuque Vietnam Veterans Memorial, currently located at Miller Riverview Park, will be relocated to and incorporated into this site. Improvements to the existing Veterans Memorial Plaza include seating, space for additional memorials and tributes, and enhancements to the pond.

The project also 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.

The estimated completion of the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veterans Memorial Improvement Project is May 2021. For more information, or to order a memorial paver, call 563.589.4263 or visit

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