This article was published in the Lenoir News-Topic.

The Town of Granite Falls hopes to have a veterans’ memorial completed by November 2014, but the committee charged with creating the monument still needs to raise most of the money required.

The planned monument, which would feature stone blocks inscribed with the names of honorably discharged veterans connected in some way to southern Caldwell County, would cost about $135,000, said Sam Erby, who chairs the town’s Veterans’ Memorial Committee.To date, the committee has raised $7,271.

The memorial would be on the southeast corner of the Shuford Recreation Center property, near the tennis courts. It’s meant to honor veterans with ties to Granite Falls or southern Caldwell County, but no honorably discharged veterans would be turned away, Erby said.

Each stone cube (there are two planned so far, with space for more if necessary) would hold about 400 inscribed names. Each inscription requires an application and a $100 fee. Names would be inscribed in phases, and the deadline for the first phase is July 31, 2014.

The committee initially hoped to complete the memorial by November 2013 but is now looking toward a Veterans Day 2014 grand opening and reaching out to citizens of the town for help raising funds.

“The six of us on the committee, we can’t do this alone,” Erby told citizens at a public interest meeting Thursday evening. “We’ve already figured that out. We know that those of y’all out there have connections, and we’re going to need your help.”

Some funding for the memorial will come from the $100 paid (likely by the family or friends of each veteran) for name inscriptions. The committee is also offering sponsorships for some components of the memorial, in the hopes that area industries will come on board.

Corporations or individuals can sponsor the flagpole on the monument site for $7,500, one of several granite benches on site for $5,000, or a service seal depicting a particular branch of the armed forces for $1,500.

The committee is also seeking other monetary and in-kind donations and may host event-based fundraisers, Erby said.

Committee members are working to construct the monument without spending tax dollars. So far, they have done that, Erby said. The committee searched for grants to fund the project and came up dry, he said.