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Awaited monument unveiled

An estimated 600 people were in Linden Tuesday to brave the heat for the unveiling of the new Veterans Monument in front of the Marengo County Courthouse.

The dedication ceremony lasted about an hour-and-a half and was a great success. Many organizations were on hand including the Veterans of Foreign War, and the American Legion. Also in attendance were Congressman Artur Davis, Mayor Pat Vice and many other guests.

LTC Leonard Cowling, who thanked everyone for coming to the ceremony, opened the dedication ceremony. He then introduced the Demopolis High School ROTC to post the colors, and the choir from Cornerstone church in Linden sang "America the Beautiful."

Pat Vice, mayor of Linden welcomed "everyone to Linden for such a special occasion." He also said, "The Ladies of the VFW were the backbone of this project."

After the brief comments to begin the ceremony, Compton unveiled the granite monument to the public’s applause. The monument is in the shape of a pentagon, with the five sides each representing a different branch of military service, Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force and the Coast Guard.

The area around the monument is paved with 1,047 bricks, each inscribed with the names of veterans and present members of the armed forces. There is a three-cornered folded flag on top of the monument that represents all of the fallen veterans.

Finally, there are two flags on the side of the monument that remind us why these brave people served, for our state and country. Richard Kirkpatrick designed the monument.

The Boy Scouts from Troop 41 and 42 came out and raised three flags up the flagpoles. "These three flags, the American flag, The Alabama state flag and the POW-MIA flag will fly at this site 24 hours a day," Compton said. The flags will be lower on holidays and stored in specially made cabinets provided by Linden Lumber and the cabinet making class at Marengo Institute.

The Scouts raised the flags to the sound of "Reveille" and then lowered them to half-mast to the sound of "Taps." Next congressman Davis spoke to the crowd about many things including race relations and having love for all the veterans of Alabama.

There is one rule for the display. Out of respect for fallen veterans, organizers ask that citizens not walk on the bricks.

Those interested in purchasing a brick can go by the VFW office or the Marengo County Courthouse for a form.