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Donations solicited for memorial walk

POSTED: January 7, 2014 8:30 a.m.
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An artist’s rendering shows an overhead shot of the proposed Veterans Memorial Walk in Hinesville.

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Individual and corporate donations are being sought to help build the Veterans Memorial Walk at Bryant Commons, said George Holtzman, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Walk Committee.
Holtzman said the walk is a tribute to all those who’ve served in the U.S. military, past and present, in all branches of service. The committee’s goal is have the memorial completed by Memorial Day 2015, which is May 25. The group is looking to raise about $1 million for the project.
“Liberty County’s history, since the time of the patriots (during the American Revolution) to our current support for the soldiers and their families at Fort Stewart, has always supported the military,” Holtzman said. “We can pay no better form of respect for our military than this memorial ... We’ve already received several pledges totaling over $100,000, including $6,000 from the Hinesville Military Affairs Committee from its first annual Veterans Salute and $1,000 from Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield’s Sergeant Major Association.”
Holtzman said once 75 percent of the project’s cost has been secured, the committee will begin “selling bricks” and soliciting smaller donations.
He said Kelly Applegate of Applegate Design created the memorial’s logo, which depicts a single white star on a blue background with red letters naming the memorial at Bryant Commons. Committee member Michelle Ricketson recently put together a four-page flier that includes a letter from Mayor Jim Thomas, information about the memorial and Bryant Commons as well as several artist’s renderings of the memorial.
Holtzman said other Veterans Memorial Walk Committee members include David Anderson, Jeff Ashman, Pete Hoffman, Vicki Davis, Susan Hancock, Jane Murray, Janet Blank, Wayne Stewart, retired Lt. Gen. William Webster and David Holton.
“With the military’s vital role in the Hinesville/Liberty County area, it is important to have a place of lasting tribute to honor (those that) have served our country,” said Thomas, who serves as vice chairman for the committee. “Flags of all branches will greet visitors at the entrance. The front plaza and the promenade will be Georgia gray granite ... We have been fortunate the land has been donated for the project at Bryant Commons.”
Holtzman said the memorial was designed by engineer Marcus Sack with P.C. Simonton & Associates and Mark Taylor with J.W. Buckley & Associates. He said the projected cost for the memorial is $848,378.40, which includes $35,000 for clearing and grading, $60,000 for landscaping and irrigation, $80,000 for lighting and electrical, and  nearly $62,000 for granite walkways.   
Thomas asked for individuals and corporate sponsors to make pledges to help pay for the memorial, including pledges for the front plaza, promenade and lake, each costing $100,000; six flags with monument and pole, each costing $50,000; a kiosk and crest representing the five military branches, each costing $25,000; five benches costing $10,000 each; and 35 ornamental trees, each costing $5,000.
Holtzman said guests will enter the walk from the front plaza and travel counter-clockwise, passing the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Air Force military crests embedded in the walk floor. He said there also will be memorials for Prisoners of War/Missing in Action and local Army National Guard unit Liberty Independent Troop.
“I see this memorial becoming a reality,” Holtzman said. “We’ll get the money for it, and we’ll build it. Getting it done under our timeline goal will be a challenge, but we’ll make it happen.”
He said donations can be sent to the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority (reference Veterans Memorial Walk), 115 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Hinesville, GA 31313.

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