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SUNSET BEACH — Plans are under way for a new veterans memorial in Sunset Beach.
The Committee to Honor America’s Veterans consists of Brunswick County residents tasked with locating a veterans memorial somewhere in the region.
Plans now call for the memorial to be located in the new Sunset Beach Town Park “one brick at a time,” according to members.
Approved for location in the future park last year by Sunset Beach Town Council, the all-brick memorial will have a scenic view of the waterway and pay tribute to all military branches.
The setting for the future memorial is described as “a serene and dignified place where veterans and civic organizations may hold ceremonies and where individuals may come and reflect.”
“If we can get phase 1 completed, we’re going to try and get a flagpole into the park once we can,” said committee chairman Gordon Coulson, a Vietnam veteran and retired Army lieutenant colonel.
Though there could be delays, they are targeting the end of April for that. The goal is for the memorial to be completely finished in two years, but that will depend on funds that are raised.
The committee consists of a diversity of 17 members, ranging from Army and Navy guys to a female Air Force veteran and a couple of civilians who didn’t serve in the military but wanted to help.
Though the memorial will be in Sunset Beach and its future setting is key to finally being built, “it’s for all veterans,” Coulson said. “But we’re focusing mainly on veterans in Brunswick County.”
Plans call for a 908-square-foot, all-brick circular structure with individual pedestals that will pay tribute to the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. A bronze statue of children will be at the center. There will also be a world map as a reminder the U.S. has “still got soldiers in 105 countries,” Coulson said.
The memorial’s exterior wall will be 18 inches high. There will also be places for visitors to sit. Its flooring will consist of bricks of various sizes to honor family and friends who have or are currently serving in the military.
The committee is orchestrating an ongoing campaign to sell bricks to honor loved ones. Prices start at $100 for a 4-by-8-inch brick, $200 for an 8-by-8-inch brick, and $1,500 for a 16-by-16-inch brick.
The committee estimates $160,000 needs to be raised for the memorial, which will not be funded by tax money.
The committee also accepts any and all donations. Members are reaching out to the community and seeking grants, but they want to build the memorial with grassroots support from citizens. Volunteers are also welcome.
The Committee to Honor America’s Veterans has applied for nonprofit 501(c)(3) status, and all donations are tax-deductible.
The mailing address is Committee to Honor America’s Veterans, 7385 Balmore Dr. SW, Sunset Beach, NC 28468.