COPENHAGEN — After a few unarmed decades, the soldier atop the village's Civil War statue is a sword-bearer once more.
The village commissioned a sword using part of the $7,000 in historic preservation funds granted several years ago to maintain the statue by Flat Rock Wind Power during its development of the Maple Ridge Wind Farm, said Mayor Kenneth R. Clarke.
"We've been talking about it for a year and a half," he said.
The sword replacement, the bills for which have yet to be paid, is expected to use about $6,000 of the fund.
A rededication ceremony of the statue will be held at 1 p.m. today, 116 years to the day after its original dedication on Nov. 3, 1893.
The ceremony will be performed by three different camps of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Floyd Lyng American Legion Post 723. Local Legion commander Howard M. "Mitch" Beyer will be the guest speaker. A reception will be held at the Copenhagen fire hall following the ceremony.
The sword was believed stolen from statue at least 30 years ago, and several area residents about a decade ago tried unsuccessfully to recover the sword.
One of those residents, John H. Drewes, is still not satisfied. He suggested the new weapon is not authentic and called it a "Mickey Mouse sword."