Artist: Sondra Jonson
Sculpture Size: 5’8” H x 2’W x 2’L
“To honor the six million American soldiers served, and the loving hands who served them, at the North Platte Cantee. 1941 to 1946”
For five years during World War II, more than 55,000 women from 125 Nebraska communities volunteers tirelessly at the North Plate Canteen. The Canteen workers met and served every single U.S. troop train that went through the North Platte Railroad Depot, seven days a week, greeting 3,000 to 8,000 men a day, totaling over six million servicemen.
The Canteen provided a ray of light in the midst of a dark time for our country and especially for the soldiers the canteen served. The generosity, goodness, and commitment of the Canteen volunteers in North Platte was mirrored in many Midwestern towns along the Union Pacific rail line.
Many of the details were modeled after original items from the 1940’s. The young woman has the look of a robust, healthy, pragmatic farm girl. With a warm smile and a basket of treats, she steps forward to meet a train filled with troops; but she extends her hand, giving an apple to one solitary solder. That’s the genius of the Canteen spirit- helping six million people one soul at a time.