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Ashfield vets to expand memorial

Recorder/Paul Franz
Ashfield residents and veterans Curt Pichette, Wayne Farrell, Warren Kirkpatrick and Michael Purcell have been working on a “Walk of Honor” for the  Ashfield Veterans Memorial at the Plan Cemetery.

Recorder/Paul Franz Ashfield residents and veterans Curt Pichette, Wayne Farrell, Warren Kirkpatrick and Michael Purcell have been working on a “Walk of Honor” for the Ashfield Veterans Memorial at the Plan Cemetery. Purchase photo reprints »

ASHFIELD — American Legion Post 245 will be adding a “Walk of Honor” to its veterans memorial, so that families and friends can honor any U.S. veteran by name.

A Holy Cross in front of the monument will contain about 800 brick-shaped paving stones that may be engraved with the names and military status of soldiers, living or deceased.

Recently, the old pea stone pebbles that formed the cross have been replaced by plain bricks. But those will eventually be replaced by the engraved stones as orders for them come in.

“We want this to be a living tribute to all the U.S. military veterans,” explained Mike Purcell, one of the project members. “We’re going to wait until after Veteran’s Day to place our first order.”

The cost will be $29 for a 4-by-8-inch brick, or $39.50 for an 8-by-8-inch brick. The smallest brick can fit three lines of text, while the largest brick can hold six lines. Either sized brick holds a maximum line of 18 characters each.

For an additional $8 fee, medals and military insignia can be placed on the larger bricks.

The Legion’s Veterans Memorial sits near the Plain Cemetery on Baptist Corner Road, and was first created by Legion members in the late 1970s, says Wayne Farrell of Ashfield. He said the memorial was created by the late Charlie Williams, Doug Ward and Clem Record. The landscaping was donated by local residents, and Ashfield Stone Inc. has donated two benches on either side of the monument. Eventually, the cross will have a black border of Ashfield Stone, Farrell said.

“This is kind of an update,” Farrell stated, “something to take it to a new phase, and give people the opportunity to honor their loved ones.”

Curt Pichette said the Walk of Honor will be a place where people can come and find out who served in the military from this area.

“Maybe people don’t have a place where they can honor relatives who served,” he added.

The bricks are light gray and will be sandblasted in black.

Order forms for the stones and the engraving are available from project team members Mike and Carrie Purcell at 628-4067. Other project team members are Pichette, Farrell, Warren Kirkpatrick, John Chadwick and Doug Cranson.

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