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Veterans raise funds for Memorial fence / February 12, 2014
The Mecklenburg County Veterans Memorial Committee wants to improve the ten-year-old memorial in Clarksville by setting it off with a black wrought iron fence and brick piers. Memorial Committee Chairman Stuart Buchanan said the new fence would not only enhance the monument, but also protect it from future damage.

Before work can begin, the committee must raise slightly more than $22,000 — the cost to purchase and install the fence.

The fence does not lock out the public, explained Buchanan. Instead, it highlights the importance of the area. Agreeing that a stylish wrought iron fence will draw attention to and beautify the memorial, Dave Newman of Danville said, “This fence is the first thing people will see when they visit the memorial. The veterans being honored here put their life on the line for the best.” Newman helped pay for a similar fence around Danville’s Veterans Memorial.

Buchanan called the memorial, completed in 2004, “one of the town’s most attractive assets.” Over the years, the memorial committee has volunteered countless hours maintaining this tribute to Clarksville’s military heroes. They also raised funds needed to pay for repairs and upgrades by selling bricks, postcards and flags.

Currently the memorial committee has just under $9,500, but those funds are earmarked for future repairs. Buchanan said, “In the next few years we will have to replace the flag poles. Water has seeped inside causing the metal poles to rust. We’ll also need to replace the lights at a cost of $1,500 to $2,000, and the flags at a cost of $250 to $300 per flag.”

One repair they hope to never have to make again took place about five years ago when someone drove a car into the granite structure.

Any monies not needed for repairs will be used pay for an upgrade to the memorial plaza — a directory listing the location on the plaza of each brick given in honor of a soldier. Buchanan estimated the cost of the directory at $2,000.

Recently, Buchanan said, the memorial committee began a capital campaign, hoping to raise $22,000 for the fence. “We’ve already received donations from a couple of people including Michael Duncan, director of research at the Institute of Advanced Learning & Research in Danville, and from local residents Joe Davidson and Bob McKay.”

They asked Clarksville Town Council to pay for all or part of the fence. Mayor Kevin Allgood agreed to consider their request as the town prepares its budget for the 2015 fiscal year.

Contributions can made in the name of Mecklenburg County Veterans Memorial and sent to the town of Clarksville, at 321 Virginia Avenue, Clarksville, VA 23927.

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