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GRAHAM COUNTY' S VETERANS MEMORIAL
By Marshall McClung
One of the best memorials honoring the veterans of the armed forces can be found in the extreme southwestern tip of North Carolina. Located in Robbinsville, the county seat of Graham County, it is indeed a beautiful tribute to veterans. You would not expect to find a memorial of this magnitude except perhaps in our larger cities. The fact that this memorial is located in a county with less than 8,000 population, makes it unusual indeed.
Planning for the memorial began in early 1977. Led by Leonard Lloyd, himself a survivor of Iwo Jima, the local posts of the Veterans Of Foreign Wars, the American Legion1 and their auxiliaries, and the citizens of Graham County, the project got underway. Lloyd did a sketch of the plans, and his daughter Carolyn drafted the plans and added the final touches.
Various fundraisers including a telethon and bake sales were held. In all, over $45,000 was raised for the memorial. Graham County furnished labor and materials and Nantahala Power and Light Company donated a thirty foot aluminum flagpole.
The central feature of this memorial is a large flat cross of white marble engraved with the branches of military service. The cross has a blue marble center most listing the names of the war dead from Graham County. Occupying a prominent position is the flagpole bearing flags of the United States and the state of North Carolina. The flags are lighted at night. A sidewalk of blue and white marble squares surrounds the memorial. Flowers and shrubs are along the sides of the lawn. The courthouse steps are made of marble squares containing the names of Graham County veterans along with their military unit.
A formal dedication for the memorial was held July 4, 1978. Speakers included Leonard Lloyd and Arvil Webster, commander of the local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Graham County can be proud of this memorial, not only because of the respect and appreciation it shows for our veterans, but because it also represents a community spirit and togetherness that enabled the memorial to be built.
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These pages are from the people of Graham County, North Carolina.
For additional information on Graham County Adventures
the Travel and Tourism Authority or
go to the Visitors Information Center of the Travel and Tourism Authority Webpage
or call 1-800-470-3790 or 828-479-3790 Fax 1-828-479-4733
This page is maintained by Tom Livingston, Robbinsville, North Carolina