Post 16 in Lynchburg, Va., unveiled a Purple Heart Memorial last spring, to honor those veterans wounded or killed in service. The Military Order of the Purple Heart's local chapter donated the $9,000 memorial to the post, former Commander Leslie Baker said.
The post dedicated the memorial, a three-year project, and the Walk of Honor, a path of engraved bricks leading to the monument, in a Veterans Day ceremony.
The memorial greets visitors and members outside the Legion's front entrance and faces those driving by. A plaque with the names of 13 local veterans who were KIA in the Middle East - 12 in the last 15 years - will be added to the memorial.
To complete the Walk of Honor, about 800 bricks will be needed, Baker said. Last year more than 200 were laid, and another order of about 150 will be sent to the engraving company in California next week, he said. The Legion kept prices of the bricks down to $35, to allow people to honor their loved ones regardless of finances.
The monument itself has an image of the Purple Heart, as well as this quote from William Shakespeare's "Henry V:" "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; / For he to-day that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother."
Baker said the quote works well and all the veterans he's talked to like it and appreciate the memorial.
"It's good for the veterans who come back who have been wounded to come to our post and realize that they're not alone. There are veterans who care about them," Baker said.