• July 23, 2014

Veterans gain support for monument

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Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 4:30 am

LAMPASAS — With one existing war memorial stately displayed on the grounds of the Lampasas County Courthouse, a group of commanders from four local veterans organizations got together with the idea to honor all Lampasas veterans, living or deceased, who have defended the country.

Veterans of Foreign Wars commanders from Lampasas, Kempner and Lometa formed an alliance, and American Legion Post 277 in Lampasas agreed to take on the project. The group formed a committee led by veterans Jack Shelton, Jack Calvert, Jim Anderson and James Briggs.

“This is something that went into the planning stages last fall,” Shelton said. “We came up with a proposal and took the idea to local veteran organizations this spring.”

Lampasas’ existing memorial honors those who died in wars dating back to World War I, with their names inscribed on the monument; however, many veterans felt it proper to have a memorial honoring all men and women who have served in the military, regardless of their combat status.

The leaders agreed to install a simple, but elegant monument honoring all armed forces veterans who have served the republic, the state and nation during times of peace, conflict and national emergency, Shelton said.

Lampasas County commissioners on May 13 approved the veterans’ request to install the monument on the southwest corner of the courthouse lawn.

Shelton said the memorial will be placed where current and future generations can gather to remember and respectfully honor all who put duty, honor and country first.

The memorial’s design calls for more than 2 tons of polished and inscribed black granite standing more than 4 feet tall and stretching nearly 7 feet long. Six bronze emblems mounted in the granite base will represent the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines.

The monument will be made in Georgia, shipped to Lampasas in July and kept in storage until the base is poured.

The cost of the project is about $11,000, Shelton said. The veterans started with $4,000 and raised the other $7,000 in just three days by phoning local businesses and residents and asking for donations.

“Lampasas is so willing to contribute to anything for youth-sponsored events and any worthwhile activities,” Briggs said. “It was so overwhelming, I had to call the other commanders and ask them to quit collecting money. That’s what happens in Lampasas.”

The veterans plan to unveil the finished monument in a dedication ceremony on Veterans Day in November.

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