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Project to honor county’s veterans

Restoration plans are nearly completed for the rehabilitation of four Parrot Rifles and an addition to the veterans memorial in Woodland Cemetery.

Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Restoration plans are nearly completed for the rehabilitation of four Parrot Rifles and an addition to the veterans memorial in Woodland Cemetery.

The Veterans Memorial Committee will soon ask for help from Lawrence County residents to implement their ideas for "a more accurate and appropriate memorial for living and deceased veterans," said Judge Frank McCown, chairman of the committee.

"We’ve been working to restore and rehabilitate the four Parrott Rifles in Woodland Cemetery," McCown said. "We have also been working to achieve a more accurate history of the rifles. We know they were loaned to the post in 1882 and were placed in the cemetery somewhere between 1882 and 1897. They have been there ever since silently guarding the boys that served in the Civil War."

He said the plans include placing the 1,750-pound rifles on carriages as they would have been during the Civil War.

"We also want to place monuments and markers in the (Civil War) section of the cemetery," he said.

The plans include the placement of two rifle memorials, a monument and flagpole on an overlook of U.S. 52 and two monuments in the Civil War plot, he said.

Also planned is a brick path that will be known as the Patriots Path and will be installed on the overlook, McCown said.

"This will be a permanent project that will last forever," he said. "This will be a way for people in the community to honor these who have served our nation."

He said the path will lead to two cannons that will be moved from their current resting site to the nearby overlook.

"Along that path, we would like to put down several benches where people can pause to meditate, if you will, on the veterans that have protected our freedom," McCown said.

The entire restoration project is to be funded by the selling of bricks for the Patriots Path, he said.

Individuals can actually purchase bricks for the walkway and have the names of veterans living or deceased engraved on them. Engravings on the bricks will be allowed three lines consisting of 13 spaces per line, he said.

"We are also going to have a State Dinner with President Lincoln Feb. 13, 2001," McCown said. "A gentleman by the name of Mr. Gettys from Gettysburg will act the part of President Lincoln."

Upon completion, the project will be a showcase recognizing Woodland Cemetery as a national cemetery much like Arlington Cemetery does, he said.

"It’s going to take about $75,000 to do the restoration and rehabilitation of the veterans section of the cemetery," he said. "We are not doing this with government funds. It will all be done through citizens who take the proper respects of the veterans who are buried in our cemetery. Our goal it to get as many people in our community to pay their proper respects to the veterans veterans of all wars."