Paula, Our dream to create a Veterans Mall in Ludington along the shore of Lake Michigan began with you. Our family searched for months to find a most worthy tribute to all veterans. A Google search produced an image of the "Ascent of Heroism" and sent goose bumps up my spine.
A year later our dream has become a reality with not one Paula Slater sculpture but two. Seeing your Ascent of Heroism in person will move one's very soul, there is so much to see and every veteran and family member who looks at it will deeply connect. The centerpiece of the Mall is your larger than life bust of William Charette who's very likeness has been so expertly captured. But upon looking into his eyes, his very spirit is in there too. He will now forever gaze towards the waters of Lake Michigan.
Paula you are not only a Modern Master, you are humble, unselfish, and extremely caring. Your time spent being interviewed by our newspaper and your evening at our Art Center was so appreciated, but the gift of your talent made our Veterans Mall so much more than our committee ever dreamed. You and Chris are always welcome, and we will leave the light on for you at the cabin. Forever Grateful,
~ Budde Reed
Ludington Veterans Mall Committee Chairman
Dear Paula, There are hardly the right words to convey to you our thoughts of thanks and gratitude for your fine work on the bust of our brother/uncle William Charette. Please know that we feel so honored and that his medal of honor legacy will live on through your wonderful work. In gratitude,
~ Tom and Patricia Ezdebski
Nephew of William Charette
The Ludington Veterans Mall Monument was dedicated on June 25, 2017 in Ludington, Michigan. The centerpiece of the Mall is the William Charette 1.5 time life size bronze bust sculpted by Paula Slater. Included in the Veterans Mall is the Ascent of Heroism, also sculpted by Slater. This 6-1/5 high bronze features seven veterans from seven different American fought wars. It is the second bronze casting of the sculpture in an edition of three. The first casting was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Hurm and was installed in Grandview Veterans Circle, Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Over three hundred people attended the dedication of the Ludington Veterans Mall located on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan. There was not a dry eye in the place during the very emotional unveiling of the William Charette bronze portrait bust by Peg Ezdebski of her brother William (with her son and daughter by her side). Slater was a keynote speaker along with Medal of Honor Recipients Duane Dewey, and Gary Littrell. Dr. Rick Plummer was the Emcee and other speakers included Michelle Hammer, Robert Gancarz and Richard Smith who served with William Charette during the Korean War. Brothers Budde and Todd Reed were the final speakers of the event before the Ascent of Heroism was unveiled.