July 4, 2018
On July 4th, 2018, the High Country Chapter (HCCMOAA, NC-21) and the Town of Boone NC unveiled and dedicated the Watauga County Veterans Memorial. The ceremony was the culmination of a three year effort to design, construct, install and fund this ambitious project. HCCMOAA came up with the concept and developed the strategic plan which took the project from vision to fruition. HCCMOAA partnered with the Town of Boone, which donated land for the memorial site and many hours of in-kind support, to help make this striking tribute to veterans a reality. Chapter members chaired key committees comprised of subject matter experts and volunteers which handled the competition/design, advertising/publicity, engineering/construction and fundraising phases of the project. MOAA provided the overall project leadership and collaborated with many local organizations to advertise and promote the memorial. Literally hundreds of individuals, corporations, organizations and state and local governments helped us reach our goal of $165,000 through financial and in-kind contributions. A remarkable achievement for a chapter our size.
The stainless steel sculpture titled “Time and Honor” was chosen from 19 proposals submitted in response to a regional competition. The artist selected was Suzie Hallier from Banner Elk, NC who designed and built the memorial. The sculpture is in the form of an ellipse increasing in size from left to right and culminating in five pillars which honor our five armed forces. The ellipse prominently features the words “Duty Honor Country”, the West Point motto long ago adopted by all services to reflect the determination, perseverance and dedication of all who serve this great country. Knee walls surrounding the sculpture depict the dates and lives lost in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War and current and future conflicts in defense of freedom. These are the most prominent of the 82 conflicts in which one or more of our services have fought. A third wall dedicates the monument to all veterans who served and acknowledges the contributions which made the memorial possible.
This MOAA led effort was an outstanding example of many diverse community elements joining forces to achieve an objective which honors in perpetuity our veterans who are with us today and those who gave their lives in the service of our Country.