Veterans work together to raise unique memorial, funds

What began as an artist's tribute to his late father-in-law, a Korean War POW, is growing into a community veterans memorial in Montrose, Mich.

"He wanted to build a bell to honor his father-in-law's service, and then it got out of hand," said Jim Stewart, chairman of the memorial's committee.

Charlie Emmendorfer (pictured with the bell under construction) began making the bell, which he planned to put in his yard, but as the bell got larger - it weighs two tons - he enlisted the help of veterans to construct a fitting memorial.

The group has collected $10,000 in donations from the local American Legion post and its members, as well as grants and donations from other local organizations.

For any donation over $50, the memorial will honor any American veteran with inclusion of his name in the $80,000 building that will house the bell, which should be constructed by the end of next summer.

So far, the committee has received donations to honor more than 300 veterans, from the Civil War through active-duty personnel.