Thursday, May 31, 2012
It has taken nearly a decade, but the Catoosa Citizens’ and Veterans’ Memorial is nearly finished.
Last week, a four-man crew from Baston Monuments added polished granite panels to its 160-foot long curved concrete face.
“This is a big day for us,” said Yvonne Morgan, vice chairwoman of the CCVM Foundation’s board of directors. “We came up with this idea when The Colonnade was built and there was no flag flying on the campus.”
Located at the entrance to the county’s Benton Place Campus, the memorial salutes all who love their country — fathers, mothers, siblings, veterans of military service and their descendants — and is not a war memorial.
Veterans groups had wanted to erect a memorial not only to those who served in the armed forces but also to those who supported them, Morgan said. Discussions begun in the spring of 2001 about such a tribute were reinforced by events that fall.
The central element consists of a U.S. flag saluted by flags of the five military branches framed by a “Patriot Wall” inscribed with patriotic sayings and the national motto: In God We Trust.
The memorial’s groundbreaking took place on Sept. 11, 2002, and work has continued ever since.
Contributions from individuals and corporations have been augmented by allocation of SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) funds earmarked for historic preservation, according to Carl Henson, the county’s chief financial officer.
“The commissioners approved spending about $80,000,” he said.
Morgan said work on the memorial will not end when the last polished stone panel is installed or the final commemorative brick is placed on the memorial’s paved walkway. Future plans call for a walking trail and commemorative benches being added to the site.
“What we are building is a tribute to America and what America stands for,” Morgan said.