American Legion Post 342 dedicates memorial wall
By Jessie Burchette
Veterans and their families gathered on a steamy Monday afternoon to dedicate a wall that will honor those who have served their country.
The Memorial Wall is in front of Harold B. Jarrett American Legion Post 342, 1024 Lincolnton Road.
The wall will also serve as a fundraiser to help the post provide assistance to veterans and their families.
Speakers kept their remarks to a minimum to escape the withering heat.
Chaplain Harold Andrews offered a prayer asking that the newly constructed memorial be hallowed ground.
Commander Wayne Kennerly dedicated the memorial to “all those who have fallen in the service of our country and to those who are serving today.”
Charter members of the post, Charlie Swink and Jack Kepley, were among those who attended the dedication.
Henry Mize, a World War II veteran, was among the 40 or so attending the ceremony.
Mize recalled growing up in Salisbury and playing ball in the mill leagues with Harold B. Jarrett, for whom the post is named, before they both went off to war. Jarrett was killed in action in southern France.
Mize said the memorial will be a way to honor others who have served.
The memorial has been almost a year in the making. It originated with Nellie Troxell’s beach trip last July.
Troxell, office manager of the post, visited a Legion post in Murrell’s Inlet and saw the memorial wall there. She came back to Salisbury with lots of pictures, and set on convincing members here to build a similar wall.
She convinced Kennerly it was worth checking out.
He made the trip and agreed with Troxell that a memorial wall would be the perfect way to honor those who served their country.
Kennerly lined up Narvie Bond, a member of the post and a local contractor, to head up the Memorial Wall committee and recruit volunteers.
Taylor Clay donated the bricks and Chandler Concrete gave the post a reduced price on concrete.
Mix in some volunteer help and the Memorial Wall was completed just in time for the dedication. A few finishing touches were added Monday morning.
Kennerly estimated the project cost around $2,500.
The current wall has spaces to honor 1,500 veterans and will be expanded if needed. Large plaques from each branch of the military adorn the three walls.
Anyone can purchase a memorial brick. It’s open to all veterans whether they live in Rowan County or elsewhere.
Troxell said people have already purchased bricks for veterans of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
Bricks can be purchased for $100 each, and buyers can specify whether they want them placed on the floor or the wall of the memorial.
For more information on honoring a veteran, contact Troxell at the post from 8 a.m. to noon at 704-637-1722.
The post has almost 700 members and another 150 in the Ladies Auxiliary.