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One more stone down
Enough lines bought for stone three at vet memorial
new deh veterans memorial stone three pic web
Shown is the Golden Belt Veterans Memorial. With enough lines purchased, the third stone for the site should be in place this fall. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Enough lines have been purchased and the long-anticipated third stone for the Golden Belt Veterans Memorial is a go, said Diana Watson, assistant to the Barton County Commission.

Now, the last of the over 300 names will be sent to Kansas Granite in Ellis, which is engraving the massive tablet. Proofs will be sent back to Barton County for a final check before the work begins.

“Literally, this is written in stone,” Watson said. “We want to make extra sure everything is correct.”

The stone should be ready to be placed at Golden Belt Memorial Park early this fall. The plan is to dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

On April 23, the commission approved the purchase of the stone at a cost of $23,024. Local sculptor Chet Cale facilitated the purchase, working with County Works Director Darren Williams and others to prepare the location. 

Furthermore, Watson said, “we also have stone four half way done.” When the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Hoisington disbanded, members contributed money from the chapter to purchase 200 lines.

At $45 per line, 540 (about 370 veterans) have to be sold before each of the stones can be ordered.

“It seemed like stone three took longer than the others,” she said, adding it was started in 2016. But, she noted, in that time they’ve amassed enough names to fill a stone and a half.

The future

It will become more challenging to find vets with county connections, Watson said. But, even though about 1,000 names are accounted for already, there have to still be more out there, people just have to think about the memorial.

“They just have to go out there and see it. It truly is amazing,” she said. After visiting, she knows they will be moved to submit their names or the names of loved ones.

“I’ve done a 1,000 different things for the county, but nothing compares to this,” she said. “It really is an honor.”

The second stone was dedicated on Veterans Day in 2016, and the first stone on Veterans Day the year before. But, the project dates back to 2012 when the idea of a memorial was first raised.

The first two stones flank a center obelisk. In addition to the stones, there are flags representing the branches of service, including Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and Merchant Marines.

The third stone will be staggered behind stone one. Number four will be behind number two.


The Golden Belt Veterans’ Memorial honors veterans with Barton County ties who have served in all conflicts and in all branches of the military who have a connection with Barton County. 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.

Watson said there are still funds to help those who cannot afford the cost.

Those wanting to purchase a spot on the memorial or make a donation can bring their payments to the Barton County administration 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.

The monument is located at the Golden Belt Memorial Park, 59 NW 50 Road north of Great Bend.