The second stone engraved with the names of veterans with ties to Barton County was set in place at the Golden Belt Veterans Memorial last Tuesday. There are plans for an official dedication on Veterans Day Nov. 11.
“You can stand back and say ‘wow,’” Barton County Road and Bridge Director Dale Phillips told the County Commission Wednesday morning. He stressed the project has been and is a team effort involving his department, the Memorial Parks Advisory Committee, the commission and all those who have contributed to the effort.
He thanked all those involved. “We’re proud we can honor the men and women who served this country.”
“I don’t have the words to say thank you enough,” said commission Chairman Don Davis, who is himself a veteran recognized on the memorial.
Phillips said the site has become a busy attraction. Passersby from all over see the sign on U.S. 281 and stop to see it.
“There are people there every day,” he said.
There are now plans for a third stone, which will hopefully be ready by Veterans Day 2017. “The Memorial Parks Committee is excited about the future of the memorial. We look for good things to come.”
The site is located in the Golden Belt Memorial Park, located at 59 NW 50 Rd. “If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to go out and take a gander,” Phillips said, adding it is worth the trip.
At $45 per line, 540 (about 370 veterans) had to be sold before each of the stones could be ordered. The first was dedicated on Veterans Day last November. Since then enough lines had been sold for the second stone.
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.
Those wanting to purchase a spot on the memorial or make a donation 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.
Last Tuesday at the memorial park, there was a cooperative effort to place the massive stone.
Chet Cale, who designed the work, was the contractor and Kansas Granite Industries of Ellis set the stone. Cale has been working on the project, with the support others, for three years and he is planning ahead for two more stones.
“It has been an honor working on the project,” Cale said.