Some local memorials are near completion
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    Phantom Blooper
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    Some local memorials are near completion

    Some local memorials are near completion By THOMAS BRENNAN Daily News Staff
    Published: Friday, February 7, 2014 at 11:00 AM.

    Whether cast or grown, Onslow County’s future monuments are meant to honor service and sacrifice.
    Within the county, multiple projects are underway to remember those who served in the military and the community.
    At Lejeune Memorial Gardens, the Onslow Vietnam Veterans Memorial is nearing completion, with the remaining portions of its dome currently being installed. By March 10, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee is expecting construction to be complete, according to Pat Walker, the committee’s secretary. The committee plans to host a re-dedication ceremony March 22 at 10 a.m.
    “People don’t understand how exciting this is for us,” Walker said. “It’s been 15 years since we started and we are delighted the promise we made to the veterans to build a memorial has been kept.”
    With a final price tag of $3 million, construction, she said, would not have been possible without “fantastic” contractors and architects. Once the dome has been installed, with the unofficial lyrics of Taps visible along its border, Walker hopes people will know their family may be gone but are never forgotten.
    “I hope the monument being finished brings people a kind of closure,” she said. “In Washington D.C. you can’t necessarily find your friend’s name, but our monument is in alphabetical order, which makes it easier. Veterans can find their friends; and I hope that means they will sit, reflect and converse with one another. Sometimes talking to that name on the wall gives people the closure they have been searching for.”
    Also on the campus of the gardens will be the Corpsmen Memorial. Still in its funding stages, Verl Matthews, a former commander for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, said that once the money is raised, the memorial will be placed outside a still-to-be-constructed Museum of the Marine.
    Costing $500,000, the memorial will feature a wounded Marine being cared for by a Navy corpsman, something that will resemble the bond between a Marine and his “Doc,” said Matthews. The corpsman will have a mixture of gear dating from World War II to present to signify that corpsmen have always been there for Marines, he said.
    “It will show people there is a strong brotherhood among Marines and corpsman,” Matthews said. “Every generation of corpsman has showed the same dedication and made similar sacrifices. I hope that people see the memorial and realize that, and when a corpsman looks at it, I hope they see what their predecessors did.”
    There is no expected completion date for the Corpsmen Memorial. To donate, mail checks to P.O. Box 12641, Jacksonville, N.C. 28546 or visit
    The Montford Point Marines Association Memorial will also be constructed in the vicinity of Lejeune Memorial Gardnes. Having raised more than $800,000 of the $1.7 million required for completion, Houston Shinal, the monument director, said that after only four years of raising funds, the organization is further along than expected. The bronze statue that will adorn the monument is expected to be delivered in June, and a groundbreaking is planned for July, when three concentric circles will be installed at the site.
    While no completion date has been set, Shinal said he hopes the monument will be completed in time for as many original Montford Pointers to enjoy it as possible.
    “We are hoping that the memorial will inspire people to become curious about the complete Montford Point story because it was untold for years and years,” Shinal said. “We hope this will become the physical piece that makes people want to know their full story and what they did for America’s history.”
    To donate to the Montford Point Marines Association memorial, visit
    Over at Burton Park in Jacksonville, a sculpture by East Carolina University professor Carl Billingsley will be the centerpiece of the Onslow County Public Service Monument. The sculpture will honor the men and women who serve as police officers, emergency management personnel, firefighters, paramedics and rescue squads in Onslow County.
    “The firefighters, rescue personnel and the law enforcement officers are actively doing fundraisers to raise the full $92,000 needed,” said Todd Lyman, the Onslow County public information officer. “To date, more than $34,000 has been donated and those involved in the memorial are working hard to get the rest of the funds.”
    The ground work, according to Lyman, has been laid and everything is progressing as expected. All permits are in place, he said, and no foreseeable complications are expected. To donate to the public service monument, mail checks to Onslow County Finance at 328 New Bridge St., Jackonville, N.C. 28540.
    Along the U.S. 17 entrance to Jacksonville, the construction of the Beirut Memorial Grove is nearing completion, according to Anthony Prinz, the transportation supervisor for the City of Jacksonville. With holes dug, the city is awaiting the arrival of 273 cherry trees, sod, day lillies and mulch to complete the project by the end of this month, he said.
    “It’s going to be a grandiose site,” Prinz said. “By the fall we will see the first full bloom which will be truly spectacular to drive by.”
    Initially, the site lacked enough topsoil to successfully plant the trees, so the NCDOT shipped in and graded dozens of tons of topsoil, he said. While it was initially a setback, everything is on schedule, Prinz said.
    “We hope the grove stands to honor all those lost during the Beirut blast,” he said. “This will be an enduring memorial to all of those Marines, sailors and soldiers who lost their lives.”

    Contact Daily News Military Reporter Thomas Brennan at 910-219-8453 or Follow him on Twitter @ thomasjbrennan.

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  2. #2
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    Providence County
    Outstanding Post Bloop, Thank you Brother

  3. #3
    Such a good thing, Semper Fidelis.

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