Legion rallies community around new veterans memorial in Oxford, N.C.

Oxford, NC

Veterans in Granville County, N.C., are now honored with a memorial thanks to Post 90 in Oxford, N.C.

The Granville County, N.C., Veterans Memorial, which cost about $25,000, was paid for through donations, selling commemorative bricks to honor veterans and a T-shirt campaign, said Frank Strickland, Post 90 fundraising chairman.

"We started at a low budget, but once the project started and the support from the community caused us to change our plans. We went with a bigger memorial," Strickland said.

Though Oxford, the county seat, has a population of under 10,000 people, more than 1,100 bricks have already been bought to honor veterans at the memorial. While the memorial itself pays tribute to Granville County veterans, the bricks honor anyone who's served.

Strickland said brick prices were kept to $50 to accommodate all vets, and some generous donors helped those that needed it. There's even a brick honoring President George Washington.

The memorial sets in front of city hall at no cost to taxpayers.

"This location was the best fit for the memorial with more visibility and more people could come in and enjoy it," Strickland said. "We wanted it in the county seat and accessible with parking. The city was very generous to allow us to do that."

To ramp up to the launch, the post arranged the county's first Veterans Day parade, plus gave area World War II veterans a sneak peak.

The memorial was unveiled Nov. 24, 2013, only about a year after the project began.

"We are very, very excited about it. Everybody enjoys it," Strickland said. "The public is very appreciative we went forward with this project. The American Legion helped bring the community together on this project."

If other posts want to take on a similar project, Strickland said he's happy to offer help if contacted.

But for starters, he has this advice:

"Set your goals and be very persistent. Don't give up and just keep on pursuing it. Get the word out."

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