Five stately black granite stones with 2,003 chiseled names honoring Dublin veterans stand proudly adjacent to the Dublin Public Library.
The permanently affixed slabs will be officially dedicated on Veterans' Day, Nov. 11.
Dublin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jeanette Ward said the experience has been both exciting and emotional.
“We thought two stones would be enough,” she said. “Then names started pouring in. Another stone will be added to the five in the near future.”
The project began in November 2006. In December, a committee met with the city for approval.
“The committee was made up of one member each from the Chamber of Commerce, Historical Museum, Economic Development, American Legion, Keep Dublin Beautiful and the City,” Ward said.
After approval, the work began in earnest.
Citizens began to research their own families' history, cemeteries, and courthouses. The memorial was to include names from the Civil War to the current conflict.
Ward said, “We have had people call from many states to provide information.”
A contractor's bid was accepted.
The stones were shipped by freighter from China, where black granite is quarried and docked in California for rail delivery to Dallas.
A tractor trailer transported them to Hamilton for the sandblast engraving by Riley Gardner and staff of Riley Gardner Memorial which has been in charge of several memorials including Stephenville's courthouse memorial marker.
“It took about a week to get the names on the stones,” Bob Riley said.
The stones cost $5,500 each.
“Our original goal was $30,000,” Ward said, “but we never thought we would have so many to include.”
The dedication service will include state dignitaries, local citizens, and organizations. State Representative Sid Miller will speak about Colonel Davis and present an American and Texas flag to Dublin. Bill Campbell will present his personal salute to the veterans.
The Patriot Guard National Motorcycle Association with over 2,000 members will be represented when the Texas chapter lines the ceremony route with flags. Ward is to invite the Sons of the Confederation for a 21-gun salute.
There will be two fly-overs, one at the beginning of the ceremony, and a WWII plane at the close.
The Elks Lodge will furnish free coffee.
Radio and television stations will cover the event.
“The response has been overwhelming,” she said. “It has been a huge effort, and I appreciate everyone's working for such a prestigious salute to our fallen heroes.”
Donations have largely paid for the project. Grants are not available for veteran projects, but Ward said that money began to come from everywhere.
“The generosity has been unbelievable,” she said. “One lady came in and said she only had $5, but wanted to give whatever she could, no matter how small.”
Exciting and emotional.
That will be the mood when the Nov. 11 Veterans Memorial is dedicated.
For additional information for donations of this project, contact Ward at 254-445-3422.
SHERRY BOARDMAN is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-965-3124, ext. 229.