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Church Hill planning to relocate massive Veterans Memorial

Jeff Bobo • Updated Sep 22, 2015 at 2:23 PM

CHURCH HILL — Church Hill leaders are willing to move the veterans memorial from Jaycees Park to a more visible location, but it’s going to take some time to figure where to put it, the cost, and exactly how it’s going to be moved.

City leaders have been receiving comments from local veterans for years that the memorial at Jaycees Park off of N. Central Avenue should be in a more prominent location in town.

A relocation was discussed last year, but the move was delayed while the Board of Mayor and Aldermen completed some other projects.

During the Sept. 15 BMA meeting Mayor Dennis Deal appointed a committee to begin working on a plan to relocate the memorial.

That committee includes Alderman B.D. Cradic, who spearheaded construction of the memorial in the early 2000s, as well as Alderman Billy Kyle Housewright and retired police officer Ken Luster.

The memorial is comprised of several walls, an eternal flame, plaques, and hundreds of dedicated engraved bricks both on the walls and along the sidewalk.

Deal said the move won’t be a simple undertaking, and he suggested that nothing can be done before next spring.

“At least we can get a committee and start the process, and see what we’re looking at for the cost,” Deal said. “It’s going to have to be a lot of pictures, because if there’s one brick out of place we could be in trouble, and we definitely don’t want that.”

Deal added, “At the time that was put in, that’s the only place we had to put it. We’d like to do it right, and really I’d like to see us do it even better.”

Alderman B.D. Cradic suggested that the city take another look at purchasing a vacant lot across Richmond Street from the Senior Center located between an apartment building and the HMG offices.

The idea would be to either place the memorial on that lot, or place the memorial in the grassy section of Senior Center parking lot off of Main Boulevard and purchase that additional property for parking.

The town also has five acres on Main Boulevard just east of City Hall and the police station that might be considered as a new location for the veterans memorial.

“It’s going to take some planning,” Housewright said. “It’s not something we can just run over there and do on the spur of the moment.”

Housewright added, “There’s a number of places that have been suggested. We could look at all of them and see what we come up with.”       

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