Veterans' memorial to be installed this week

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By Staff Reports

Members of the Veterans Memorial Committee recently visited North Carolina Granite in Mount Airy, N.C., to examine the progress of the fabrication of seven black monoliths for the Honor Circle of the Blue Ridge Veterans Memorial.  
The memorial is under construction next to the Galax Public Library, and the Honor Circle is to be installed this week in advance of the dedication ceremony scheduled for Nov. 11, just before Veterans Day.

Architect Doug Williams and Todd Price, the local artist who designed the memorial, inspected the engravings after North Carolina Granite sandblasted six military service branch insignias on the stone monoliths.
Each of the six monoliths includes the service insignia for the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. A seventh monolith includes a flying eagle with wings spread wide and the inscription “In Honor of Those Who Serve.”
The dedication ceremony is set for Nov. 11 at 3 p.m.
World War II veterans will be the special guests during the ceremony. Approximately 20 WWII veterans have already indicated they will attend, said Sharon Plichta, who has worked to organize the fundraising effort with husband Frank. Both are veterans.
All area WWII veterans are encouraged to attend. Veterans who wish to be added to the program can call 238-9161 and provide their name, branch of service, military unit or ship and the area in which they served.
Future components of the memorial are a “Memory” monolith with a water fountain, a bronze globe of the earth and the POW/MIA monolith with two benches. Additional funds are needed to add these features.
“By purchasing a granite paver in honor or in memory of your family veterans you can provide the funds needed to finish the project,” Plichta said.
Pavers come in two sizes: a 5-by-10-inch paver with three lines of text for $100 and a 10-inch square paver with six lines of text for $300.
Paver forms are available at the display in the Galax Library or by calling 238-9161.   Leave your name and mailing address and forms can be mailed to you. Instructions are on the form.