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Clear Spring plans dedication of veterans memorial

September 24, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

CLEAR SPRING --About 18,000 pounds of Chinese granite ordered for the Clear Spring Area Veterans Memorial spent weeks stymied by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after the container carrying the stone randomly was selected for inspection, organizer David Sword said.

Now released, the stone is on the fast track to be etched, transported and installed in time for the memorial's dedication next week, he said.

A dedication of the memorial, including a parade, is scheduled for Oct. 2 at 10 a.m., according to Clear Spring Town Clerk Juanita Grimm.

Sword organized having the $55,000 veterans memorial built at Clear Spring Park on South Martin Street.

The memorial was Sword's way of saying thank you to the men and women of Clear Spring who sacrificed to ensure his freedom, he said.

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"I'm very appreciative of what they did for me," he said. "I am very blessed to live in this country."

Wanting to create a beautiful remembrance of military sacrifice, he said he chose to order the granite from China, which he was told has some of the finest granite in the world.

Thanks to help from U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., the memorial dedication should still happen as planned, Sword said.

Bartlett's office stepped in, securing release of the granite from customs, he said.

The granite was shipped to Cincinnati, where Laser Imaging and Design Inc. will etch it with faces of local veterans and a message of dedication, Sword said.

"It should be unloaded in Ohio at 2:30 p.m. today," he said Friday. "It's going to be lasered this weekend. I look to pick it up on Tuesday."

Sword's plan was to have the memorial completed two weeks ago, he said.

Despite the hassle with customs and the tight schedule the project is now on, Sword remained calm, confident everything would work out fine.

On Friday, 425 bricks engraved with names of veterans were laid as part of the memorial, he said.

Sword sold the bricks to help raise money toward the project. He said there is still room if more people would like to purchase bricks.

Grimm said the dedication will start with a parade at 10 a.m. on Oct. 2. The parade will leave Thompson Towing on Cumberland Street (U.S. 40) and move to the Clear Spring Park for the dedication.

Grand marshals for the parade will be Stewart Brennan, Wilson Rhodes and Brady Haines, she said.

Sword said he scheduled the dedication in October instead of on Veterans Day in November to take advantage of warmer weather.

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