Darren Doyle, story and photos
The Veterans Memorial Dedication Project in the courtyard of the Edmonson County Courthouse is now underway. The project is being overseen by Ms. Maurita Miller, Auxiliary Commander for local DAV chapter 32, and will feature a 23 foot long wall with a granite center piece. The granite center will feature engraved emblems from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Prisoners of War (POW).
The walls on each side of the granite centerpiece will be laid with bricks engraved with a veteran's name, branch of service, and theater of war or date served.
"It was (Judge Executive) Wil Cannon's idea to do a Veterans Memorial out in the courtyard," said Maurita Miller. "It was first discussed about putting engraved pavers on the ground, but many of our veterans didn't like the idea of veteran' names being stepped on. There's also trash thrown down and so forth, so then the idea went further on to a wall, instead of putting them on the ground."
Ms. Miller said the bricks will be 4" x 8" and will allow a maximum of three lines with up to 14 characters per line, all for $35 per brick. There are currently four places where you can pick up a donation envelope/order form: Alford's Pharmacy, Bank of Edmonson County, County Clerk Kevin Alexander's Office, and in the north hallway of the courthouse near the front door.
Alford's Pharmacy has made a generous offer of covering half the cost of each brick purchased by any veteran or family of a veteran who are patients of theirs. This means a family would pay only $17.50 for each brick. To take advantage of this offer, you simply purchase your brick at Alford's Pharmacy and Drive Thru, located in the Main Street Center.
"This is our way of giving back to families that have supported us. Hopefully this will enable more families and veterans to honor loved ones who have served us and our great country," said Dr. Kasey Alford.
"We have a memorial for the veterans who died in action," said Judge Cannon. "What we don't have, is a public way to honor veterans who served but didn't die in the line of duty, and this is for every veteran that served."
Cannon was also happy about the funding for the project. "Taxpayer dollars are not paying for this wall," he said. "It's all from donations and proceeds from the engraved brick sales. The footer was taken care of with prisoner labor and dug by Ray Page with the road department, so we're doing as much volunteer work as we can." It was also noted that Dennis and Jeremy Durbin of Durbin's Masonry was providing their labor at a substantial discount.
You don't have to purchase a brick in order to help with the project. Both Ms. Miller and Judge Cannon said any monetary donations for the project are welcomed, too. Just pick up an envelope at one of the locations mentioned above and simply make a donation.
There is no deadline on brick purchases, but Cannon said he hoped that there was enough bricks to have the majority of the project completed by next year's Memorial Day Service in the courtyard. Ms. Miller said approximately 150 bricks had been ordered so far. According to the illustrated plans, there will be around 500 spaces available for the personalized bricks.
Although it probably wouldn't be difficult to find Edmonson County taxpayers that would support county money funding the project, Cannon reiterated that this was a project led by volunteers.
"Fiscal Court paid for the lighting under the pavilion and on the flag in the courtyard," said Cannon. "The plans are now to install a decorative street light over the new memorial when it's completed, so hopefully there will be enough funding from the project to do that. If not, I'm sure Fiscal Court would take care of that cost, but we're trying to get by without spending taxpayer dollars."