After nearly five years in development, construction of the Johnson City-Washington County Veterans Memorial should be completed next week.
Weather permitting, Burleson Construction superintendent Joe Archer said Wednesday the memorial’s finishing touches — installing both the steel archway that will read “Freedom is not Free” and the 40-foot flagpole and placing fresh sod around the memorial — will hopefully be in place by the end of next week, giving the memorial about a week before its official dedication ceremony on Veterans Day Nov. 11.
Work on the memorial began Aug. 17. When completed, it will be the first permanent memorial in Johnson City.
The brick has been paved, and Archer expected the pavers to be completely finished pouring sand by this weekend.
Archer said workers have spent the last several weeks installing the large concrete blocks that serve as the centerpiece of the memorial. After setting the blocks, each one was covered in red or black granite, and the names of soldiers have been inscribed.
A total of six large red granite-covered concrete blocks sit in the middle of two outer rings of smaller concrete blocks that are covered in black granite. The red granite is reserved for the names of those who are missing in action or killed in action.
Records show that more than 13,000 men and women from Washington County have served their country as members of the various branches of the military since the turn of the 20th century.
All honorably discharged veterans from Washington County are eligible to have their names inscribed on the memorial. Inscriptions can be purchased in honor of relatives or friends who may or may not reside in the area if authentic documentation is provided.
To learn more about how to submit a name for the memorial and necessary documentation, visit www.jc-wcveteransmemorial.com.