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March 13, 2014

Veterans Memorial Park in Jasper shaping up-Memorial bricks to be laid March 22

Jasper — Hamilton County Veterans Service Officer Clay Lambert offered an update on Veterans Memorial Park to the county commissioners at their board meeting on March 4.

The plaza area in the center of the park is beginning to shape up nicely with a tall flagpole proudly waving the American flag and POW-MIA flag, which is now surrounded underneath by hundreds of inlaid bricks. To date, Lambert said, 276 memorial bricks have been sold.

The content for the granite wall panels is almost complete. History professor Jay Welch has been putting together massive amounts of information from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam War and the War on Terror. There will also be engraved photos of different scenes from all branches of the military, along with the names of Hamilton County veterans who “gave their last full measure”.

“He did a lot of research to tie in the panels and what we’re going to put on them to relate as much as possible to Hamilton County,” said Lambert. “I think he did a pretty good job on that.”

The wall, when completed, will have two center panels reserved for the 41 veterans from Hamilton County who have died. There will be three flanking panels on each side displaying all the war eras, along with inlaid photos and appropriate text.

On Saturday, March 22, from 9-11 a.m., those who bought memorial bricks are invited to come out to the park and lay their bricks. There will be no formal ceremony. It will just be a time for friends and family members to choose a spot around the flagpole, remove a blank brick and insert the one they purchased. ROTC cadets, Lambert said, will most likely be assisting at the event.

Should there be inclement weather on Saturday, the event will be rescheduled for the next day, Sunday, March 23.

“We’re still going to have about $20,000 left to move forward on the final, big project, which is the pavilion,” Lambert told the commissioners.

Memorial Day, May 26, Lambert said, is the projected date to do the official ribbon cutting for Veterans Memorial Park. If all goes as planned the entire project should be either totally completed by then or very near completion, as some aspects of the project will be happening simultaneously.

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