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Veterans Committee unveils one of its Rifles

The Veterans Memorial Committee unveiled one of its restored Civil War Parrott Rifles at a ceremony Tuesday night.

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

The Veterans Memorial Committee unveiled one of its restored Civil War Parrott Rifles at a ceremony Tuesday night.

Resting on a reproduction carriage, the rifle sits inside the Ironton City Center, representing months of fund-raising and many more months of planning for a new veterans memorial at Woodland Cemetery, committee chair Frank McCown said.

The unveiling came at the beginning of the Ironton Business Association’s "Business After Hours" event.

Those in attendance gathered around the rifle and received information about the memorial project.

The committee has called the four restored rifles, which look like cannons, national treasures because they are four of a remaining 57 in the country – which means Ironton has more than Gettysburg and Antietam combined. They were made at the West Point Foundry in New York.

The rifles will become the centerpoint of a black granite memorial, complete with a flagpole and a Patriot’s Path of bricks purchased by individuals and families to honor area veterans of all wars. The memorial will face the highway from a corner of the cemetery.

At Tuesday’s committee meeting, members heard a treasurer’s report that indicated funds raised so far total more than $72,000 from all sources, not including about $16,000 in pledges.

"We also know there’s a donor or two still out there," McCown said. "We’re well on our way toward making our goal."

Committee brochures are into a second printing, and schools are holding change drives, he said.

"If we get everyone in communities to buy into the project, whether it’s pennies or nickels, it’s great because it’s their community and it’s a community project," McCown said.

The next biggest concern is deciding the words that will be etched into the veterans memorial, he told told committee members.

For information about the committee’s memorial project, to make a donation, to order a memorial brick for $25 or to offer suggestions, contact McCown at 533-4332, Juanita Markel at 532-1033 or Sue Deeds at 533-4312.