A veterans’ memorial planned for the Hamblen County Courthouse may finally be nearing completion, officials said.
David Rutherford, state president of the Col. Robert McFarland Chapter of the Sons of the Revolution and chairman of the committee to erect the memorial, said this week the necessary money has been raised and the contractor is working on finishing the project.
“Our target is Veterans’ Day,” Rutherford said. “He said he can get it done.”
Rutherford said the contractor has bricks, benches and the memorial itself. The only thing the committee is waiting on is flag poles.
He said within the next two days, the contractor will start pouring concrete.
“This has been a long process,” Rutherford said. “And we’re so close now.”
The Col. Robert McFarland chapter has been working on the veterans’ memorial project for several years. Completion times for the memorial kept getting pushed back due to lack of funding.
Last month, Rutherford went in front of the Hamblen County Commission and asked for $20,000 in order to complete the project.
The commission approved funding up to $20,000 and at the same time an anonymous donor reached out to the county mayor’s office and added an additional $10,000 donation.
Rutherford said it was a bit shocking for the last minute donation.
“We’ve been working on this so long and haven’t had this type of cooperation,” he said. “So, it was a bit of a surprise.”
The group now has around $80,000 to complete the project.
The chapter has conducted fundraising over several years by selling engraved bricks that will make up a wall at the memorial. With a larger donation, people could by a commemorative bench.
The site plans show there will be a series of sidewalks in a Y-shape, leading from the courthouse and 1st North Street to a pentagon-shaped memorial in the middle of the lawn. There will be five flag poles in a semi-circle around the memorial with the flags of all five services: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. Closer to the courthouse, there will also be two more flagpoles, one will be the Liberty Pole and the other will be the POW/MIA flag.
Organizers said there will also be lighting of the memorial. There will be benches surrounding the memorial and around the memorial will be the commemorative bricks.
Rutherford said he is happy to see the work almost finished.
“I’m elated for this thing really to be done,” he said.