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Veteran's Wall coming to LaBelle's Veteran Park

Caloosa Belle - 6/7/2018

Several meetings have taken place over the last month regarding the new Veteran's wall that has been planned for the LaBelle Veteran's Park. The committees that have overseen the planning and purchase of the wall felt it was important to update the many supporters and sponsors of the timeline for the installation and dedication of the granite wall.

As many of you know, the bricks currently in the park are deteriorating and any plans to replace them were too costly, and it was decided to erect a granite wall to replace the bricks that hold the veterans names and their branch of service.

Last November, an agreement was made to purchase the wall for approximately $45,000. A down payment was made to the monument company for $25,000, even though funds raised in the Fallen Heroes account were still not adequate to completely purchase the wall. There is a commitment from the LaBelle DAV Chapter 144 to donate the remaining funds needed, approximately $3,000. The remaining amount due will be paid to the monument company upon completion of the wall.

Since that time, the committee has been building the list of names of current Veterans that have purchased bricks and will now be placed in alphabetical order on the wall.

The monument company is in the process of finding matching pieces of granite and should have the stone in Florida by August. A list of names will be posted at the American Legion and VFW in alphabetical order. The committee for the park is asking everyone to verify their bricks for any errors. You can also contact Bob Kirkwood to obtain a digital list of the names at bobkirkwood9@gmail.com

The wall will list the Last name, First Name on one line and on the second line the branch of service, such as, Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy, or National Guard. If a service member was in more than one branch of service both branches will be listed.

If you should find an error you are asked to go to the LaBelle American Legion, 699 W Hickpochee Ave, LaBelle, FL 33935 and fill out a form to make an adjustment to the wall. You are also able to email DAV member Bob Kirkwood at bobkirkwood9@gmail.com to make a correction. No phone calls will be accepted for corrections. The cutoff date for any corrections will be August 1st, 2018, any errors found after that date will be permanently engraved on the wall.

If anyone is wishing to have a veteran's name on the wall that does not currently have a brick they can contact the American Legion Post to fill out a form at a donation of $100.00 before August 1st to have it engraved on the first go around.

A ground-breaking ceremony is planned for June 30th to mark the spot where the wall will be placed. The committee is inviting members of the community and City Officials to the 9:00 a.m. ground breaking ceremony. Further information will be forth coming. The installation of the wall should take place on or before Veteran's Day 2018 as promised by the monument company.

This project has taken several months to date and it has taken several years to raise the necessary monies to purchase. The La-Belle Veteran's Park is a partnership of the American Legion Post 130, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10100, The City of LaBelle and its many generous supporters. The monies raised for this park has come from the donations of bricks, business sponsors and the Fallen Heroes Benefit held each July. These are the only means of maintaining this park.

The next Fallen Heroes Benefit will be July 21st at the American Legion and it will be an important benefit. Why will this year be different or more important? The park funds are depleted. As honored and happy as we are to be installing this new wall, there are still ongoing costs associated with the park that the committee will still need help raising funds. It's a legacy to all our Veteran's and it's a center piece to our city and shows our commitment to Veterans. The local Veteran's organizations and Veteran's Park committee are thankful for each individual and business that has contributed over the years. Your continued support will be greatly and humbly appreciated.

 
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