Wednesday the 11th of November is Veteran’s Day. So what could be a better way to honor those that have served by attending the Clarke County Veterans Memorial Improvement Project Ribbon Cutting Ceremony from 5pm to 6:30pm Wednesday evening?
For almost 3 years, now, the renovations for the memorial have been the passion of a small group spearheaded by Faith Fellowship Church. Chosen as a community service project, the memorial has evolved from a nondescript corner o the Courthouse lawn to a memorial tribute to the thousands of past present and future military vets from Clarke County.
“After talking to the local American Veterans Legion about the memorial, we realized the impact military families have on Clarke County and decided it really needed some attention,” said Tammy Thomas, member of the original community service project. “While originally it was a ‘Beautification’ project, once the community got behind it, the memorial took on a life of its own, growing from ‘Beautification’ to “Renovation and Enhancement’ in a multi-phase process”
Phase 1 – Benches and Personal Memorial Opportunities:
In late 2012, local Eagle Scout, Chris Allen joined the effort, taking on the fundraising for the bases and dedication administration for the memorial benches throughout the Courthouse lawn. By November of 2013, the benches were all dedicated and Allen, along with other local scouts started laying the foundations.
Phase 2 – Veterans Memorial Sculpture:
As Phase 2 began, a sculpture was commissioned for the memorial that would illustrate the sacrifice Clarke County Veterans have made for our country. The bronze sculpture atop the base honors the sacrifice out military vets have made while the base is designed to have each branch of our military called out with a beautiful, relief seal adorning each side.
Phase 3 – Laying the Foundation Tribute:
To complete the memorial area, the group went to Vet Historian, Doug Black from Murray. Through decades of research, Doug had documented over 2,800 names of Clarke County Servicemen and Women dating from The War of 1812 and the Civil War on through today – each receiving their own brick in the foundation walkway of the memorial.
Funding a project of such scale was no easy task either, but through the dedicated efforts of the Veterans Memorial Renovation group as well as support form the community, local businesses and a matching fund from Clarke County Development Corporation, the entire ticket for the memorial renovation was covered as well as a small fund for future bricks and dedications.
The Ribbon Cutting ceremony will be held at the memorial on the East side of the Courthouse lawn. Starting at 5:00pm, a dedication speech will be given and refreshments will be provided by Subway Osceola and the Faith Fellowship Consumed Youth Group. The alternate location for bad weather will be the Osceola Fire Station on the North West corner of the square.