July 3, 2013 — Veterans Park in downtown Grayson has some new memorials, just in time for the July 4th holiday.
Carter County’s Citizens for Veterans Association (CVA), which cares for the park, was able to install granite memorials for local soldiers who died in 20th century wars.
The memorial has been in the works for several years, but the CVA was only recently able to raise the funds for the etching.
“I saw an opportunity when we were raising money to bring in the Vietnam Wall,” said Earl Shaffer, referring to the traveling replica of the memorial in Washington D.C. “Anything left over went to this and we got an extra $6,000,”
Shaffer said Carter County Corner George Sparks, who operates Sparks' Funeral Home, donated the last $1,000 for the cost of engraving the stones.
The CVA is still raising money to pay for the installation of the granite in the park. Shaffer said they need about $3,500.
A short program will be held in the park on Thursday at 7 p.m. to celebrate the July 4th holiday. The community is invited to enjoy light refreshments at 4 p.m. and view the new memorial.
Shaffer said the images on the granite were originally chosen by the company that did the etching. Local veterans helped finalize the design.
“The last thing I wanted was to have a photo on it that was inaccurate,” Shaffer said. “I actually read a book, 'Guts and Glory' by local author and veteran Randy McGlone. I didn't realize how important the field artillery was in Vietnam until I read that so we changed one of the photos to depict that.”
The CVA still has eight pieces of granite, and Shaffer hopes to raise funds to eventually honor all 1,669 people from Carter County who served in Vietnam.
To donate to CVA for this or future projects, call 474-5134 or visit the office of Laverne Lincoln, CPA. The office is located at 1896 East Midland Trail in Grayson.
Leeann Akers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 474-5101.