Groundbreaking scheduled July 4th for Veterans War Memorial downtown

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Elizabethton/Carter County War Memorial will be held on Thursday, July 4, beginning at 10 a.m. at the corner of Pine Street and Elk Avenue in downtown Elizabethton.
   In January 2002, the Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans War Memorial Committee headed by Deacon Bowers, chairman, launched a drive to raise $125,000 in cash donations and in-kind contributions to construct the memorial to honor Carter Countians who died in combat in all wars from World War I to the present.
   To date, the committee has received more than $63,000 in cash donations and, as a result, purchased the granite stones for delivery in late October. The War Memorial will be dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2002, Bowers said.
   Over the past several months, the committee has researched military and historical records to identify 257 Carter Countians who were killed in combat in World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam Conflict, Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. "Their names will be inscribed on the five granite stones in the memorial," Bowers said.
   Representatives from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, Prisoners of War, Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans Council and Military Order of the Purple Heart have been invited to groundbreaking ceremonies.
   Bowers said the response from the community has been extremely positive. "The War Memorial is something all residents can be proud of and will be a permanent reminder of those who made the supreme sacrifice for our country," Bowers said.
   Tax-deductible donations for the memorial should be sent to the Office of Finance Director, Elizabethton City Hall, 136 S. Sycamore St., Elizabethton, TN 37643. The City of Elizabethton has established a special account for the Veterans War Memorial Park Fund.
   In addition to Bowers, members of the committee are State Sen. Rusty Crowe, State Rep. Ralph Cole, Jeanette Hitchcock, Roy Merryman, David Ornduff, Bob Robinson, Sara Sellers and Sam Shipley.