State funding helps veterans memorial expand

Nathan Baker • Updated Sep 6, 2018 at 6:59 PM

A $50,000 state grant to the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans Memorial will help engrave 1,248 new names in granite to honor the local men and women who served their country.

On Thursday, Reps. Matthew Hill, and Micah Van Huss, both R-Jonesborough, presented an oversized check to Veterans Memorial Foundation Executive Committee members for the third phase of an expansion project at the memorial at the corner of Kiwanis Park.

The state legislators, along with Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City, started pushing to have the appropriation included in the state’s budget two years ago.

“We’re proud that this memorial is not a static thing, it’s always growing and expanding,” Hill said Thursday at a brief check presentation ceremony at the memorial.

The 1,248 names the new black granite slabs make room for will eventually join thousands of names already inscribed, including those who were killed in action on the red panels at the center and those who served in the military and returned home cut into the concentric circles around them.

The memorial foundation committee took on the expansion project because of continuous demand for more names of veterans to be added.

Expected to cost $155,000 to $170,000, the grant from the state puts the foundation within $30,000 of its goal for the fundraising campaign.

The memorial was dedicated on Nov. 11, 2011, at 11 a.m., Armistice Day, the date and time the armistice was signed ending hostilities in World War I. Phase one included constructing the existing granite panels and the second phase built the perimeter fence around the memorial.

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