Robert Lawson

Special to the Grove Sun

DELAWARE COUNTY Ė On Monday, March 7, the Delaware County Commissioners at their regularly scheduled meeting granted permission to Jay American Legion Post 195 to construct a Veteranís Walk of Honor at the front of the courthouse.

Veterans from† Post 195 had appeared before the Board of Commissioners on Dec. 27, 1010 requesting authorization to construct the honor walk on the courthouse lawn. The commissioners approved their request, subject to later location and design approval.

On March, 1 Robert Lawson, spokesman for the Jay American Legion Post and other veterans came back to the commissioners to make a presentation of the design and to request that the location be between and along the two sidewalks leading into the main courthouse entrance. At the Monday meeting, approval was given to construct the honor walk subject to funding.

There have been times when veterans of the Armed Forces were not respected nor honored by some. Many of these men and women volunteered to serve our nation as good citizens. As good troops, do, they followed their orders in being trained and sent to far away fields of duty. Many have been wounded, emotionally and physically scared for life. Some game the ultimate sacrifice of their life.

Some of those who returned faced ridicule, profanity, name calling, being spit upon and treated worse than a terrorist would be treated by some today.

I believe that time, is past for the present. I sense that today there is a great appreciation for those who serve or have served our country in uniform. We often witness someone walking up to a veteran or active duty serviceman or woman and thanking them for their service.

The members of Jay American Legion Post 195 believe that now is the right time to provide to the community a means to show respect, appreciation and honor to all veterans of the Armed Forces. This is to include all who served in the past, those who are now serving and those who will serve at a future time.

The Walk of Honor will consist of the following flags on individual flagpoles: America, Oklahoma, Cherokee, MIA, and all branches of the military. A large stone monument will be the center of focus surrounded by a patio area and 6 stone benches. Gray granite paver bricks will be laid between the existing sidewalks with veteran names and other information. In the years ahead, bricks with names can be added.

We have reached the first milestone by obtaining the design and location approval. It is now time to move to the fund raising phase. We are looking for community help and support with this.

The bricks with the veterans name will be sold for $100 each. Individual or business sponsorships will be available for the branches and each of the flagpoles. We will also be looking for donations and opportunities for grants.

Post 195 recognizes that many veterans and families of deceased veterans will not be able to afford a $100 brick. We want every family to be able to have their veteranís name as a part of this Walk of Honor. If you would like to help honor one of these veterans with a contribution, you can do that at either of the local banks, Arvest or Grand Savings Bank. Forms for ordering the bricks can be found at various Jay businesses.

The only requirement to have a veteranís name on a brick is that they must have honorably served or are serving in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Merchant Marine or Navy. Where they lived or are living does not matter.

The purposed Walk of Honor will tie in well with the existing World War II monument constructed by the Lionís Club in 1946. The entrance to the courthouse will be greatly enhanced and will be something we all can take great pride in.

It is hoped that there will be volunteers in the community that will be willing to donate labor, expertise and materials to this worthwhile project as well. We can build a lot of it ourselves and cut down on costs as many other communities have been able to do. For more information, contact Robert Lawson at 918-253-6044, Don Murphy at 918-253-4567, Leon Hurt 918-253-2535 or Ron Cate at 918-253-8502.