A dedication ceremony for the Veterans Memorial/Honor Walk is slated for Saturday, March 29th at 2:00 p.m. at the memorial site.
The Ridgerunner Band and choir will perform, and local and visiting dignitaries will be present.
City officials broke ground for the memorial, which is located at the Grove Community Center on West Third Street, in November.
The memorial was originally the idea of Grove citizen Ben Hynum, though he is quick to point out that it was the entire community which made it a reality.
“This is not my project,” Hynum said.
Area businesses and individuals financed seven flagpoles and service flags, including two MIA flags, and granite benches. In addition, the memorial features a walk of honor with the names of individual veterans. It is not only for past veterans, but for “active duty” members of the military, Hynum said, adding that it assurance that none of them will be forgotten.
“We want to honor our loved ones,” Hynum said.
Individuals may purchase paving stones with the names of family members or friends who have served in the armed forces for $50 apiece. The pavers may be engraved with names of veterans, living, deceased, from this area, or from somewhere else.
So far more than 200 pavers have been sold and put in.
Hynum first had the idea for the memorial a few years ago.
“I went down to Louisiana where I grew up,” Hynum explained, recounting how his granddaughter went with him to see all the places he had known as a child.
They visited a small town just north of Wisner, where he grew up, and took a walk in the city park.
“They had a veterans memorial with a walk of honor, and I said, ‘Why doesn’t Grove have something like this?’” Hynum said.
Hynum was a career military officer before his retirement. He served in both the navy and the army, and saw active duty in three wars.
Suhor Industries of Parsons, KS. furnished the monument and the pavers for the Honor Walk. The veterans and their families then reimbursed Suhor for the cost of the monument and the pavers by purchasing granite pavers. The pavers are engraved with the name, rank, branch of service and the area served (WWII, VN, Korea, etc).
The City of Grove provided the ground for the memorial.
Donors include: Gary Whitehill (excavating for the pad and walkway); Tom Roberts (finish work on pad and walkway); Mill Creek Lumber (lumber for framing the pad and walkway); Green Country Concrete (concrete for the pad and walkway); Lowes, tile for the pad; Randy Busby, laying the tile for the pad; Belden Electric, wiring, floodlights and timer for lighting the pad at night; Reliable Fence, excavating for the flagpoles; Bank of Grove, Grove General Hospital and Grand Prosthetics (granite benches); and Steve Durbin and family, Bank of Oklahoma, Darrell Mastin, Rinker Century21, Arvest Bank, Grand Home Center and Grand Savings Bank, (Flagpoles and service flags).
Applications for the pavers can be picked up at Bank of Grove, Bank of Oklahoma, Grand Savings Bank, Arvest Bank, IBC Bank, Community Center, Grand Lake Association, Chamber of Commerce, Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, American Legion and the First National Bank.