When a group of Archer Lodge residents began planning a veterans’ memorial last year, they sought help from an unusual source – teenagers.
The veterans’ memorial committee asked the Corinth Holders High School Art Patrons Club to draw a few concepts of what the memorial could look like.
The club took the assignment seriously. Students scouted the proposed location next to Town Hall, studied the best materials to use and factored in the town’s budget.
“The kids really got into it,” said Duane Brown, a Corinth Holders art teacher who supervises the club.
“There are so many memorials that are just plaques beside the road, and we wanted to do something unique.”
What the club ended up producing was a design the committee embraced. The members liked it so much they had a professional landscape architect base his rendering on the club’s sketch.
Now, what started on paper will soon become reality. The town is scheduled to break ground on the project April 12.
“It is definitely rewarding to be able to contribute to something that’s going to be there forever,” said Randi Baines, a senior at Corinth Holders and member of the art club.
The memorial, which will be located to the right of Town Hall near the corner of Archer Lodge and Buffalo roads, will have pillars honoring each branch of the military. It will also feature an upright display that will bear the name Archer Lodge Veteran’s Memorial. Flags, brick paths and shrubbery will complete the design.
A permanent memorial will build on the town’s tradition of honoring its veterans during a July 4 celebration each year. The town has held the event for 12 years.
Connie and Mike Mulhollem have helped organize the July 4 celebration and are members of the veterans’ memorial committee. Mike Mulhollem, a Marine Corps veteran, said the memorial is for everyone.
“We have a lot of veterans in town, but there are so many new folks around us, and we want to get the word out to them,” he said.
Town Councilman Mark Wilson said he and Mayor Mike Gordon had discussed building a memorial for several years, but the real planning started last spring. The town set up an operational budget that helped pay the landscape architect, and the committee is raising money to fund the construction.
Wilson said the project might cost up to $150,000. One way the committee hopes to raise money is to allow residents to buy and inscribe bricks that will lead to the memorial.
The brick campaign will start at the groundbreaking, scheduled for 3 p.m. on April 12. Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas J. Eannarino will be the guest speaker at the ceremony, which will also include a community choir and the Junior ROTC from Corinth Holders High.
As for the Corinth Holders students who helped design the memorial, Connie Mulhollem said she was impressed by their passion.
“It’s so exciting to see that the next generation appreciating what our veterans have done,” she said.
Corinth Holders senior Kara Shoup, a member of the art club, said helping out was fun.
“It really inspired a lot of hard work and critical thinking,” she said. “It was heartwarming to hear they liked the design.”
Dunn: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104
Want to go?
The Town of Archer Lodge will break ground on its veteran’s memorial at 3 p.m. on April 12 next to Town Hall near the corner of Buffalo and Archer Lodge roads.