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Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park Association Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Botanical, Horticultural & Landscape Services, Environment, Environmental Beautification, Garden Clubs, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

Mission: Honor Carroll County Veterans, Veterans who once lived in Carroll County or have connections to Carroll County, by placing their names on Walls of Honor, with their branch, rank, and service record.  All wars in which Americans fought are included.  Provide a place to assemble on Memorial and Veteran’s day (5-28-2007 over 1,000 attended).  A place for families to visit for meditation, remembering their loved one.  A visual symbol showing our appreciation to veterans and their families.  Recognize those who gave to make it possible with the Contributor Wall of Honor.

Geographic areas served: Northwest Georgia

Programs: -

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Veterans Park in Carrollton, Georgia is a beautiful tribute to all who have given of themselves to the service of their country. Our community has established a wonderful Memorial Park to honor all our Veterans and to act as a living history center with activities throughout each year. The dream of so many to make the park a reality is greatly appreciated by adults and children. Veterans Memorial Park Committee, thanks for all your planning to make the park a place of honor and enjoyment.

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think the park is an asset to Carroll County and an excellent way to remember those who so proudly served our Country. I am especially proud when I look at the names on the bronze index and see my Dad's name and the names of my uncles. The park is an inspiration to me and a way to carry forward the sacrifices my ancestors made to future generations. I sincerely look forward to future additions to the park!

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Carroll County needs this park now more than ever! Our children are not being taught the importance of sacrifice - they do not understand the cost of freedom. This generation and generations to come need to see this memorial that honors our veterans who have served in our military - fought in world wars - and some have given the ultimate sacrifice/ their life. We all need to be reminded that freedom is NOT free. This memorial park is a legacy that will live on for generations to come - a legacy for all our military heroes. The park looks beautiful on the hillside over looking one of the major highways coming into Carrollton. My favorite part is walking up to the entrance and seeing the monument honoring the POW/ MIAs that stands directly in front of me at the opposite corner. It is awesome.

12

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Carroll County Veterans Memorial park has been an ongoing project for over 10 years. Our mission is to recognize our county veterans of all wars. Names are engraved on white marble "Walls of Honor" with a separate wall dedicated to out POWs and MIAs as well as KIAs. Now under construction, another wall is being dedicated to the women of Carroll County who served their country in the time of war. My name is Frank Searcy. I am a veteran of World War II, having served over 3 1/2 years in the United States Army Air Corp. I am proud that I have placed my name on the Wall of Honor, along with my Father, a World War I veteran and my brother, a veteran of World War II. Some local friends have joined together and placed several veterans names on the Wall of Honor, who were not able to do so financially. This was our privilege to honor and respect them for their dedicated service. I have the honor of serving as a director of this park and invite everyone to visit this beautiful architecturally designed patriotic place. It is open all the time with lighting at night and visitors are welcome.

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I enjoy attending the special services at the Park on Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year. I am proud this park has been built to honor all Carrol County Veterans. It stands as a legacy for generations to come for all our families and friends to remember the cost of freedom. I am especially that we have walls to honor those who paid the ultimate price - they gave their life for this country. Thank you to all you have worked so hard and sacrificially given their time to make this park look so beautiful. I really like the reflecting pool/ fountain and the eagle that adds the symbol of strength and bravery of the United States of America. I am proud to share this park with my family and friends.

7

Former staff

Rating: 5

I am Pete Rowe and I am a WWII Marine Veteran with 3 1/2 years active duty and 12 years in Reserves. I have been active in this memorial from its beginning and have spent many hours at the park doing physical labor along with several other WWII Veterans, who are no longer able to do hard physical work. I can't quite fit in my active duty uniform but it is still precious to me and I take very god care of it. The planning meetings started in 1999 and I have been to almost every monthly meeting in addition to all the special ceremonies on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. I have served as Vice President as well as being a supporting member through all the years. My name is on the Wall of Honor number six - We have a total of 18 Walls complete. And in addition to my personal plaque, my wife and I have purchased probably 15 more for individuals I wanted to honor, or veterans who could not afford to pay for their own plaque. To me the Memorial Park is one big Patriotic History Lesson for future generations as well as a way to make sure those who gave the ultimate sacrifice are not forgotten. The Killed-in-Action Walls for all the wars and the MIA/POW Wall stand as a testimony to the price that has been paid for our Freedom. The fact that these are our relatives and neighbors makes it doubly meaningful. If I had to describe the park in one word, it would be OUTSTANDING!

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My maternal ancestors were some of the first settlers in Carroll Co. and many of them served in military units from this area and are represented on the walls in the park. I am a Vietnam Veteran and my family recorded my information in the park several years ago. I had the honor of researching the records of the Confederate Soldiers names that appear on the War Between the States KIA wall. A number of friends, neighbors, classmates and kinfolk's military information is recorded throughout the park. This park truly represents Carroll County's involement in this country's military history. Vice President Sam Pyle

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been associated with this project since day one and am proud to have seen the park develope into the memorial for for our Veterans that it has become.The architecture, landscaping and overall design of the park provide a very special environment for those who wish to come visit and honor those men and women who's names are inscribed on the walls.What a blessing for the people of Carroll County to have such a memorial park.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is so beautiful here at the Park and what a place for memories of those who have given so much to their country and for their freedom. My wife and I arrived from Austin, Texas three days ago to see my Dad's name (David D Harris) on the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Wall. This was my first return to the Veterans Park since 2006 and what a proud moment it was! To see my Dad's name commemorated in his home town is a dream come true. My father always wanted to be buried with his brother Jimmy who died at the age of 20. Jimmy is buried just up the road at the Bethany Church Cemetery. My father started his family tree in 1987 and researched until his death in 1993 and found 330 family relatives. I continued his research and added another 8,000 to the Harris family tree from 2003 – present. So I know it was important to him to be with family. Plans change through time and my Dad was buried in Augusta, Georgia, several hundred miles away. When I learned of the opportunity to have plaques dedicated to them I jumped at the chance. Now my Dad is with his brother Jimmy who is also commemorated here at the Veterans Park. Now side by side they will be together forever. My name is also on the wall next to my Dad's and my Uncle Jimmy's and that brought a tear to my eyes with pride and gratitude. I know Dad and Jimmy are watching and smiling down on me. This was all possible because of my dear cousin Violette and the committee who have dedicated themselves in making this a prestigious memorial. Thank you Veterans Park and Violette Darrell & Tressa Harris Sgt USAF 1974 – 1978 Austin, Texas

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little did I realize just how many brave men and women from Carroll County, GA had honorably served their country during war and peace until they were memorialized on the granite and marble walls of our Veterans Memorial Park. The names on the walls are a lasting tribute to those patriotic citizens who stepped up and gave their full measure of service when their country called. All gave some - some gave all. I sometimes wonder how such a remarkable, beautiful and meaningful Memorial honoring our local Military Veterans came into being. Then I think back over my eight+ years of history working and serving with the Park and it all comes back with vivid clarity. It was started by a small group of Carroll County citizen patriots who felt that the time had come to recognize and to honor all Military Veterans (both living and dead)from Carroll County who have honorably served their country during war and peace. It would recognize service in all wars of the United States back to the War of Independence (Revolutionary War), including service in the Confederate States of America. Consequently, the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park, Inc., was created. Officers were elected, along with a Board of Directors. Local Mainstream Veterans organizations i.e., American Legion, VFW, MOAA, etc., could each designate an Ex-Officio Representative to serve on the board. The President, Vice President and Board Members were required to be Military Veterans. Once the organizational structure was in place one of the first things was to draft Bylaws for the Association. They were somewhat crude and sketchy, but they provided direction and guidance enough for the Association and its few members at the time. One of my first assignments as VP was to rewrite the entire document. Of course, the Association was organized for a purpose. Obviously, the main purpose was to plan, build, equip and maintain a park to honor our counties Military Veterans. Further, it was to promote Patriotism, to raise funds and to accept donations to support the construction and maintenance of the Park as a non-profit organization (501(c)3). The Park received approval as a 501(c)3 on July 27, 2003, however, the exemption was retroactive to june 26, 2001. Also, the Park became Incorporated in 2003. It operates on a Calendar Year basis (January 1 to December 31), and prepares a Charitable Organization Tax File each year. The Park Association has three types of memberships: Individual Membership - Any Military Veteran who served honorably, or a bonafide Member of his family; Organization Membership - Military, Governmental, Civic and Private Organizations may be accepted and are entitled to one vote; Charter Members - Those who joined the Association before Vetersns Day, November 11, 2000. Membership dues are $5.00 for Individual Members and $25.00 for Organizations. As time passed Committees were appointed to accomplish the varied tasks that arose. Some of the Standing Committees were: Executive, Membership, Bylaws, Credentials, Finance (Budget), Audit, Nominating, Public Relations, Flags & Banners, Landscaping, Grants and the Fund Raising Steering Committee. Often, members were on more than one Committee. Regular meetings are held monthly, on the 4th Monday at 7:00 p.m., except in December. Here, I should mention that the Park is located on County Property. Permission was granted by a former County Commissioner to use the ground for the Veterans Park. The initial layout of the park was designed by a Carroll County Architect. His design is unique, with a Smart Military Style, which can easily be expanded upon with walls for names of future Veterans. The focal point of the Park is the tall flag pole in the center with the huge American Flag on top donated by the Woodmen of the World. Ninteen Walls of honor have been filled with over 800 Plaques of Veterans. The cost to place a Plaque on the Wall is $300. Across the front of the Park, on either side of the entrance walkway, are four Black Granite Walls. Two are KIA (killed in action) Walls with over 330+ names on them. Several KIAs are from the war in Iraq. It is readily apparent that the citizens of Carroll County have certainly borne their share of responsibility to keep America safe and free. Next is the Logo Wall containing the Logos of the six branches of service: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines (During war time, the Merchant Marines have been included in the Armed Forces of the United States). The last black granite wall is the Contributors Wall of Honor containing four categories of sponsors who have made Monetary Contributions to the Park. On the other side of this wall is the Services In-Kind category containing the names of those who have donated their time, services, materials, equipment, etc., to the construction and development of the Park. At some time along the way a POW/MIA Wall was constructed to honor those Veterans who were held Prisoners-of-War or who were Missing-in-Action. There have been several from Carroll County. Another constructive work in progress is the Bronze Directory at the Park Entrance. It contains the names of the Veterans and the Wall Numbers where they can be located. As additional names are added to the Walls of Honor, their names will be added to the Bronze Directory. This Directory System is very useful to visitors who are able to find their loved ones without searching every Wall in the Park. A Chain Link Fence with Granite Posts spans the length of the front of the Park to guide visitors to the Entrance and to keep visitors off the grass. Flags representing the six military services were also added across the front of the Park which improved the asthetics by adding color and eye catching motion as they wave in the wind. Granite Bricks that line the many walkways can be purchased for $50. Anyone's name may be placed on a brick which contains 2 lines - 14 letters on top and 14 on the bottom for a total of 28. The landscaping at the Park is breath-taking! The Park partnered with the Master Gardners Club and the Spade & Trowel Club who brought Life, feeling and beauty to the Park grounds. An Architech volunteered to be the Project Manager for the landscaping and did a remarkable job. The Park was expanded to include a double spout black granite Water Fountain and a Covered Pavilion with benches. Other black granite benches honoring Veterans and military associations are placed throughout the Park for rest and meditation. Presently under construction is a Wall Honoring Women who honorably served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Completion of the Wall is anticipated within 60 days. The Park Association has committed to conducting two services a year at the Park for Carroll County: Memorial Day and Veterans Day. These services attract approximately 600 visitors, including several Veteran and civic organizations. Also, the Park is frequently requested for other patriotic and civic functions by activities/groups from other levels of governmental. This is a Perpetual Park worthy of memorializing the Veterans of Carroll County (both living and dead) who have honorably served their country in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. It is uniquely designed for expansion to memorialize Carroll County's Veterans for wars to come. The Park has adequate lighting and is open to the public 24-7. I am well aware that this project was a labor of love and inspiration, not only by a determined and dedicated Park Association Staff, but it had the full cooperation and support of the patriotic citizens of Carrol County and its Public Officials and Representatives. I have traveled our country extensively and have had numerous opportunities to observe other Parks for Veterans, and never have I seen one to compare in beauty, accomodation, access, and architectural design with the Carroll County Park. Its rich magnificence and splendor reaches into the hearts and souls of all who observe it, and exaults those Veterans who so proudly served their country. It is a stately structure that will serve our County and its Veterans for years to come. So, if you ever happen to see the Huge Grand Veterans Park Sign that borders the Carrollton - Newnan Highway #16, we invite you to treat yourself to a Reverent and heartwarming stroll through a Memorial dedicated to our Military Veterans that we feel is second to none in the Nation! Only by the Grace of God was I privileged to be a part of it. Roger E. Knowles Past President

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

No one is prouder of the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park than I am. So much has been accomplished over the nine years I have been associated with the Park. During the early years when the first Wall of Honor was installed the contractors worked in mud wearing hip boots and a plastic sheet over the Wall for protection from the weather. From that early start, we now have 19 Walls and 864 Veterans names on those Wall's of Honor outlining a brief record of their service. If you are a Veterans, a friend of a Veteran, or a family member you are encouraged to place their names on the Wall of Honor. It is so important to recognize and honor our fellow Veterans. The progress is outstanding, lights for night viewing and sidewalks were a great asset in development making the Park handicap accessible. The paver bricks in the sidewalk was turned into 684 granite bricks with names on them. This is an on going project. This allows the community to participate in the development of the park by having their name in it. A large black granite POW/MIA logo wall was installed, one of the largest in any Veterans Park. Landscaping brought the Park into a beautiful view of flowers, shrubs, trees, roses and more. A local landscaper works hard to keep the Park looking great. The number of Veterans names on the wall of Honor is testimony of their appreciation, all 864 of them. The huge black granite sign by the highway identifies the Park for what it is. Four black granite Wall's set off the Park entrance. Two of these Wall's identifies Carroll County veterans who gave their lives in combat. A total of 340 KIA's are identified by the conflict in which they made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. Their families are proud of their service and appreciate the Park honoring them. Another black granite Wall identifies the six service logo's itched into the granite. And the another wall as the "Contributor Wall of Honor" in four categories: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Also an "In Kind contributor Wall". Without these peoples help we could not have this beautiful place to honor our Veterans. There is also a beautiful designed black granite water fountain with two water spouts. A pavilion was designed to match the rest of the park and installed with benches. Small groups hold meetings in this quite setting so they can also view the beauty of the Park. There are also black granite benches honoring Veterans scattered throughout the park. A directory at the entrance identifies the location of the Veteran on the Wall of Honor that is engraved into Georgia Cherokee Marble. Six service flags fly continuously at the Park entrance. With more forthcoming plans in development of this first class Veterans Memorial Park. I believe that no other Veterans Park in Georgia compares with this one. This is because of the many dedicated people who work together to see that our Veterans are honored for the freedom that we enjoy that they have provided for us. There are two events each year at the Veterans Park, Memorial Day and Veterans Day with somewhere between 500 and 700 people in attendance. I think this shows that the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park is well accepted and appreciated in Carroll County. Several other Veteran organizations have also used the park for their events. And, with the help of the Community we will continue to strive to honor our Veterans from the past, present and future. Norris A. Garrett, President

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Grandparents grew up in Carroll County and my Mother spent many fond summers there. I have only been able to visit relatives at our annual family reunion. I visited the park for the first time last year and was elated to find such a great memorial so close to home. I have been to other Veterans memorial parks but this one is so personal and inviting. After many years of hearing World War II stories from my most beloved grandfather, who we lost in 1992, I felt closer to him than ever. I visited the park with my family, on my own, and then as part of a great celebration for Veteran's Day. Each time I visited the park had something different to offer me. Rememberance, solitude, and pride. I feel honored that I was allowed to contribute to a beautiful space to help commemorate two very special people in my life who took part in extraodinary times. Several close family members have also taken part in remebering their relatives at this great monument to Veterans and their sacrifices. Though my children will never get to sit on a knee and here about the good times and great struggles the way I did I believe bringing them to this park has helped them understand the great debt we all owe to our Veterans. They have been able to meet Veterans of many wars and speak with them about their experiences and fond memories. I think this park has made a huge impact on the community as a whole. It is a way of saying "Thank you" to all who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. The Veterans of Carroll County and everywhere now know how we as a community value them and will never forget.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

The first time I saw the Carroll County Veteran’s Memorial Park was only a few months after my son, Sgt. Paul Anthony Saylor, died in August of 2005 serving our country in Iraq. I was there because my son’s name was one of the first two to be added on the KIA wall for the Iraqi war. It was the first time I had seen his name in stone. Many feelings came over me as I touched his name engraved in the beautiful stone wall. Of course, sadness because I no longer had my son with me, but also a feeling of thankfulness that my son’s scarf ice for his country would never be forgotten. Because of this majestic wall that stands in a beautiful park, my son will be forever known as a hero (one of so many) that died serving his country. As a mom, it means so much knowing that my son will always be remembered even after I have long gone to see him in heaven. Every time I go for a ceremony, the park looks more beautiful than the time before. I am always proud to see how many people come to the different ceremonies, even in rain and very cold weather. I see the pride on the faces of everyone in attendance. There is reverence in the air as the National Anthem is sung and the prayers are read. To see the many veterans stand to be acknowledged, demonstrates the pride they carry for being true servants of our country. It is obvious that this park is one the veterans come to with great pride. This park is for them. Every time something new is added, it shows our veterans how much we love and appreciate them and their service. I see proud young and old faces of our military stand up to be acknowledged and am always so thankful to them. I often think about the people who took on the monumental job of seeing this park built from the very beginning. I have gone to the park several times by myself. Standing there looking at the park with no sounds around, just the wind is a very powerful moment. Knowing that because of the love, hard work and dedication of the people that still work to make this park what it is, the veterans that have passed, are retired and are proudly serving today, will never, never be forgotten. In our world today we need this type of park. Only when one reads the hundreds of names, does it sink in that the freedoms we enjoy today truly, truly are not free. There is a cost. My son paid the price, as did many other sons, daughters, fathers, brothers, and sisters. I want to extend my gratefulness to all that are involved with making this park a beautiful remembrance for all veterans.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a veteran of the Korean (Cold War) era -- Was "born and raised" in Carroll County - Was transferred to Chicago by my employer in 1968 and lived "up yonder" for 38 years. We returned to our ancestoral roots early in 2007. ---- My wife and I attended the Memoral Day services at this beautiful Park that Spring and was immediately drawn to support it. Just by driving past this Memorial it is evident that many dedicated Veterans have blelssed it with loving attention --- This is a Park that exudes reverance, appreciation, dedication and honor. This is a place where one can stand (or sit) in quiet contemplation of loved ones that have dedicated at part (or all) of their lives so that ALL of us can live in Freedom!

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VETERANS PARK I KNOW ABOUT AND I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL. I HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PARK FROM THE BEGINNING BUT ONLY AS A DEDICATED WORKER FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS BEFORE I MOVED TO FLORIDA IN 2006. SINCE THEN I MAKE A CONCERTED EFFORT TO ATTEND THE MEMORIAL SERVICE IN MAY. I AM 87 YEARD OLD, A VETERAN OF WWII, KOREA AND VIETMAN, SO ATTENDENCE ISN'T ALWAYS EASY. THE PARK LENDS ITSELF TO THOUGHFUL REFLECTION BY REMINDING US ALL OF THE SACRIFICES MADE BY SO MANY, SOLDIERS ALL NO MATTER WHAT SERVICE AS WELL, FAMILIES [MOTHERS, FATHERS, SONS AND DAUGHTERS]. FREEDOM ISN'T FREE AND NEVER WILL BE. JOIN TOGETHER AND HONOR THESE PATRIOTS OF CARROLL COUNTY. JIM CRAWFORD

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Violette Denney and I am currently the treasurer for the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park Association, Inc. (CCVMP). In January 2003 I attended the CCVMP Committee meeting for the purpose of seeing “why it was taking so long to make progress at the park!” At that time I was very involved in several other groups and did not have much time to donate but I was told very frankly that the reason was “help.” The group, mostly veterans, said they needed help to organize and raise money. First I was asked to serve as membership chairman, so I contacted prospective members and created a directory for the veterans to use. Next I volunteered to organize some records and make working list in alphabetical and numerical order. This enabled them to know who was on the Wall of Honor and who they needed to contact. As time went on I set up a blog, web site, cleared up their problems with IRS/Form 990s. In 2006 I was asked to serve as treasurer, this required a change in their bylaws to allow a non-veteran to hold an executive office. This was a unanimous decision. (I am not a veteran but my husband was. He died in 2007.) My challenge to the committee was I would help them as long as we could show progress. With a lot of divine guidance we have been able to get a lot of other groups to help us, like the Carroll County Master Gardeners, Junior Women Club, boy and girl scout groups, ROTC groups, University of West Georgia Arboretum, city and county government, and others. We have made tremendous progress raising and spending over one-half million dollars, but there is so much more that we want to do. We want this to be the prettiest place in this area. We want it to be the one place that everyone wants to visit and honor our veterans because we know it is because of them that we are still a free nation. We also know that freedom is not free. We have two programs each year at the park – Memorial Day and Veterans Day – for the purpose of bringing people into the park. These are well attended and we have been given good feedback from everyone. Visit our blog http://carrollcountyveteransmemoialpark.blogspot.com and website http://carrollcountyveteransmemorialpark.com , you will see some of the progress – KIA Walls, 18 completed Walls of Honor (working on # 19), MIA/POW Wall, Emblem Wall, Contributor Wall (names of those who gave so we could build the park), Fountain, Pavilion, walkways, benches, etc. It is awesome to hear the veterans describe their pride in our park. It is an even greater feeling of satisfaction to hear families who have lost their loved one in war to express their appreciation for our park. I have heard many say that they felt like this was sacred ground when they walked through. The park is open and veterans and visitors are encouraged to visit any time. And, we do have lots of visitors. Now we need more help, we need to expand the park and make room for more Walls of Honor, more attractive features, and continuous landscaping work. It is extremely hard now to raise money because of lack of funds for education and health care. But we still know that without our veterans our freedom is in jeopardy! We need to continuously show our appreciation for our troops and veterans and encourage everyone to put their Trust In God. I am so involved with the Veterans Park that my name is almost synonymous with the park as it is with DAR, quilters, and First Christian Church. Besides all the above our park is the only one in this area dedicated to our troops and veterans. Thank you for the privilege to tell my story!