TELLICO PLAINS-Calling all veterans! The town of Tellico Plains is currently accepting names for the
Veterans Monument in Town Square.
The deadline to submit new names or
edit information on current names is Oct. 1.
The original Veteran's Memorial
monument was dedicated in May 2001 at its current location in a space
donated by the town in the historic Town Square. It was completed by
the Tellico Plains Post #240 of the American Legion, which solicited
funds from individuals to have their names included on the monument.
The structure was open and due to
weather damage, was deteriorated to the point of being a public
danger. In 2007, another volunteer group, several of whom were
members of the same American Legion group who created the monument,
was formed to reconstruct the memorial. Members of the former Tellico
Plains Chamber of Commerce were also involved in the project, which
continued through 2008.
Additional donations of materials and
money were solicited to fund the reconstruction project and
independent groups provided volunteer labor to work on the structure.
At some point in the last few years,
the local volunteer group ran out of funds and disbanded.
In September 2012, a Veterans Memorial
Monument Committee was established by the Tellico Plains City Council
to oversee refurbishment of the monument. After months of planning,
the committee created a plan and, with permission from the City
Council, moved forward with the project.
"We're very excited to see this
restored," said Mayor Patrick Hawkins. "It's a great way to show
support and appreciation for our veterans."
Plans included: a new copper-colored
standing-seam metal roof; cutting out the wall opposite of the
current opening to provide an open pass-through to the monument; completing the finish-trim woodwork inside and outside of the
structure; completing electrical wiring to include interior and
motion-activated lighting at the monument; and replacing all granite
slabs with ones that will fit properly in the current wall openings.
The estimated total cost of the
refurbishment project is $22,000.
In addition to the refurbished
memorial, students at Tellico Plains High School have assisted in the
development of a computer database, which will include all existing
monument names and new names in coming years. This database will be a
useful tool for family members to research their relatives.
"The database format is set, but the
data is not yet entered," said Alderman Larry Harris. "TPHS
students will work on this project over time. It will eventually be
available for research, but probably not online. A location has not
yet been determined."
All veterans' names that are currently
displayed on the monument will be retained on the new granite slabs
and new names will be accepted at no cost. Forms are available at
City Hall and at Tellico Plains branch banks.
The town is hoping to hold a dedication
ceremony for the renovated monument on Veterans Day, with hopes to
have all inside plaques up by the spring. Six outdoor plaques will be
installed this fall.