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Gold Star family memorial planned

Nov 06 2019
Bill Colvard |Elkin Tribune

“It’s going to be huge (six feet tall and twelve feet long), and very, very impressive,” said Jon Garing of the memorial monument for Gold Star families planned for Elkin’s Municipal Park.

This site plan shows where a proposed Gold Star Memorial would be situated in Elkin Municipal Park.

Fifty-six similar monuments already exist in 42 states, and Elkin’s is one of 63 in progress, but it is the only one planned for Northwest North Carolina.

The Captain Mark Garner Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7794 in Elkin, in cooperation with the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, is raising funds to place the monument in Elkin Municipal Park to honor all families who lost a loved one in the service of the United States.

“We don’t have a monument to honor the families, the brothers and sisters, the moms and dads, who paid the ultimate price and gave a loved one,” said Garing. “Why shouldn’t they have a monument?”

Garing added that it will be a special place for families that have lost a member in a war. “After the funeral, after the color guard, after everyone turns out to honor the fallen one, what happens then? This will be a place where they can go and feel it was built for their child.”

Costs for the project are estimated to run $65,000 to $70,000. The monument, to be built of black granite from India, will weigh 18,000 ponds.

The Town of Elkin has approved placement of the monument in Elkin Municipal Park near the existing VFW flagpole and Chatham Manufacturing Company’s World War II monument, according to information from the VFW.

Since Elkin is located at the confluence of Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin Counties, and there is no similar memorial in Northwest North Carolina, Garing said the VFW is seeking support for the project from a broad area.

Both the Elkin and Mount Airy Walmart stores have made generous contributions and a number of local churches have been approached about the project. Garing said that, having reached one-fifth of the fundraising goal, he’s looking for ways to broadcast the appeal for funds to a wider audience.