The Carroll County Veterans Memorial has been a place where military veterans of Carroll County, both deceased and still living, can be honored by their loved ones in peace. Now, the memorial will be expanding to accommodate a monument for Carroll County first responders such as law enforcement, the fire department, emergency medical technicians and 911 operators.
In addition to the large veterans memorial that honors Carroll County veterans, a 17-foot black obelisk will be built adjacent to the veterans’ memorial in honor of Carroll County’s first responders. Each side of the obelisk will commemorate one of the emergency agencies.
Upon walking into the veterans’ memorial there are rows of black and white walls, each wall containing 48 plaques with soldiers’ names on them. On the left side of the open memorial is a tall black bell tower.
A tradition upon visiting the memorial is that a person finds the name of their loved ones, rings the bell and says their name. Now the families of those killed in the line of duty serving their communities will also have a chance to ring that bell in honor of their loved ones.
The first responders monument will not exactly be a part of the Carroll County Veterans Memorial, but will be built close to it for convenience and so that loved ones of first responders can feel that same air of respect.
“We can take advantage now of the wonderful feeling you get in this park,” said Donald Levans, president of the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park.
The main reason the first responders memorial is not considered a part of the veterans memorial is because it is being built by a separate committee of first responders, and not by the committee that operates the veterans memorial.
“We’re a non-profit, we have a big bad bylaws,” said Levens. “We would have to change everything to make it for something else.”
Several first responders have lost their lives in the line of duty in the last few years. This, coupled with the fact that the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park hosts annual Sept. 11 events, prompted some Carroll County emergency personnel to want a monument of their own. Brad Robinson, Chief Deputy at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, is the committee member who requested the construction.
According to Levans, this monument is not cheap. The obelisk will cost $70,000 alone. Then there are other costs that come into play such as getting concrete to support the structure, as well as benches, lighting, the engravings, and a granite tile floor.