Barrett, Michael. Published: Sunday, March 22, 2015 at 09:12 PM. The Gaston
Gazette. CaroMont begins work on tribute to veterans
Veterans memorial plans that were delayed last year at CaroMont Regional
Medical Center in Gastonia are now being resuscitated.
Officials with CaroMont Health have secured a building permit from the
city to begin work on the open-air memorial and have already broken ground.
The project, estimated to cost more than $354,000, is being carried out
on a prominent lawn near the hospital’s Birthplace and the visitor
CaroMont officials unveiled plans for the venture almost a year ago, with
a goal of completing construction in time for Veterans Day in the fall.
But construction delays and the onset of cold weather pushed that timetable back.
Leaders of local veterans groups have remained patient and understanding.
“The hospital has been very good about working with us, and we’re
looking forward to its opening early next year,” Tony Sherrill,
vice chairman of the Gaston County Veterans Council, said in late 2014.
The idea for a memorial emerged as an olive branch after CaroMont Health
announced plans to change the name of Gaston Memorial Hospital in 2013.
The switch to CaroMont Regional Medical Center rankled veterans because
the original name had paid direct tribute to their service.
Gaston Memorial Hospital was founded on Highland Street in 1946 to honor
local veterans who died in World War II. American Legion Post 23 raised
more than $1 million to help build it.
Hospital leaders responded to vet complaints by forming the Veterans Council
and renaming its overall campus the Gaston Memorial Medical Park. Street
names there were also updated to reflect appreciation for veterans.
CaroMont Health CEO and President Doug Luckett said it’s satisfying
to see construction on the memorial begin.
“The veterans monument represents the history of the hospital and
our community,” he said. “We hope it will serve as a reminder
of the bravery and sacrifice of all veterans who have served our country
for many years to come.”
Benches and walkways will surround the memorial centerpiece. Though it
will be in a prominent place, it is being designed with landscaping that
will allow for quiet reflection.
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