KEESEVILLE — A soldier leans on his rifle, helmet in his hands.
He gazes at three white crosses in the earth, remembering fallen comrades.
The image may evoke a distant battlefield, but it is, in fact, an installation in front of AmVets Post 87 in Keeseville.
Nearby is a cutout of the Liberty Bell, emblazoned with the phrase “Freedom is not Free.”
The figures are made of treated plywood that has been painted and primed, with pressure-treated wood for the supports of the Liberty Bell.
AmVets Commander Gary Baker said he chose the images to depict the spot “as a military post.”
They were made and installed as an Eagle Scout project by 18-year-old Quinn Jones of Morrisonville.
Quinn’s father, Russell Jones, is a nurse practitioner for the Plattsburgh Veterans Administration clinic. There, he met Baker, who is one of his patients. Their discussions eventually led to Quinn’s Eagle Scout project for the AmVets Post.
Once the installation idea was settled upon, they researched designs online. Baker chose the designs, and Quinn completed the project with support from Daniel’s Sign Co. in West Chazy.
However, Quinn faced a challenging deadline.
An Eagle Scout project must be completed before the candidate turns 18. That meant the installation had to be set up during the winter in order for it to be finished in time.
“The ground was still frozen,” Quinn Jones said. “We had to dig down pretty far.”
They also tried to seal the wood as thoroughly as possible, to prevent water from leaking in and then freezing.
Now, in July, the scene is very different. Quinn was concerned about the effects of the high winds from a recent brief but intense storm.
Examining his work, he voiced plans to put the figures back in the ground and re-cement them.