Work Starts in Baxley on Veterans' Monument

We often remember veterans with flowers and ribbons on holidays. But one community wants a rock solid reminder of their service all year long. After three years, organizers finally see granite come to Baxley. Workers spent Monday morning getting the bases in place for a monument to Appling County's veterans.

"It'll have the names of anybody from this county that served in any branch of the military," explained project chairman Bill Campbell.

What they wanted would cost them $70,000. Despite the cost, organizers found the money here in Appling County in donations large and small.

"There's no tax money in it," said Campbell. "It's gone from a child dropping 25 cents in the basket up to two or three thousand from businesses and individuals."

By noon, the first panel of the ten-ton monument saw daylight and AC Taylor saw his own name. His service stretched from Vietnam to Desert Storm. "I was called back up in '90 and got out in '98."

Committee members, like Frank Miles, say tributes shouldn't be for just those killed in service. "We just felt all veterans should be honored in some way and this is the best way we could think of."

Flags and wreaths already mark the courthouse square. Now 1,100 names will personalize the tribute. Organizers just hope people in their town will never take their soldiers' service for granted.

They'll formally dedicate the monument December 7, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. They say any names that aren't on the list could be added next year.

Reported by: Dal Cannady,