After years of planning, the first stone inscribed with the names of Barton County veterans is near completion, Barton County Memorial Parks Advisory Committee Chairman Mick Lang said.
Lang addressed the Barton County Commission Monday morning to give an update on the project. He said local artist Chet Cale notified him that the stone would be completed by mid October.
So, a dedication ceremony has been planned for 2 p.m. Nov. 11, Veterans Day 2015. The details remain to be finalized, but Lang said there would be speeches, a performance by the Great Bend High School Band and other activities.
“I think it will be a nice program,” he said. It should last about an hour.
Now, on to the second stone.
The names of Barton County veterans’ are and will be inscribed on two stone tablets that will flank the center obelisk, which has already been installed and dedicated. In addition to the stones, there are flags representing the branches of service, including Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and Merchant Marines (who received veterans status for the years 1942-46).
At $45 per line, 540 had to be sold before the first stone could be ordered. Some entries take more than one line.
So far, Lang said, they have sold 103 lines on the second stone.
Located in Golden Belt Memorial Park on NW 50 Road north of Great Bend, the memorial was officially dedicated in May 2014.
The first name to be placed on the stone markers will be that of the late County Commissioner Don Cates, a veteran and a pilot who died in an agricultural spray plane crash in April 2014.
Qualifications to be included are proof that the veteran was at least at one time a Barton County residency and an honorable discharge from the military. The veteran can be living or deceased, and active-duty service members are also eligible.
Local sculpture Chet Cale designed and is building the monument.
The committee is charged with advising and assisting the commission regarding the care and maintenance of the Barton County memorial parks and cemetery. It consists of not less than five, nor more than seven non-compensated members, and one of the on-going projects is the memorial.
“This committee does a good job,” County Administrator Richard Boeckman said.
Those wanting to purchase a spot on the memorial can bring their payments to the Barton County Administrator’s Office in room 107 of the courthouse at 1400 Main in Great Bend. For more information, call 620-793-1800.
Checks must be made payable to Barton County.