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The WWII Memorial,  What it took to pull it off.

About two years ago a small group (6) of volunteers undertook an effort to create a WWII memorial in Tallahassee. Then talked with a number of people, including the State WWII committee, the Veterans Affairs Office, and City of Tallahassee officials. It was decided to purchase a copy of Sandy Proctor's statue and place it in a city park. As you know, enough money was raised to accomplish this. A great deal of time and commitment was involved in this aspect of the project alone. Leon County then asked if they would be interested in placing the statue at the Courthouse. This came about because they were successful in raising the necessary funds from hundreds of donors.

Approximately 700 memorial bricks were purchased in this initial phase. In order to actually place them, as well to have a base built to accommodate them and the statue, a number of tasks had to be undertaken. These involved inputting all the names into the computer in the appropriate fashion, calling people when information was insufficient, ordering and arranging for delivery of bricks, and numerous other issues. The base for the statue did not appear magically. It had to be designed and built specifically for the statue. Contractors had to be located and interviewed, (especially because cost was a primary issue), brick layers had to be found (laying bricks in a circle is not as easy as it may seem), all had to be coordinated with the county to insure that their requirements were met, and so forth. Then, with the help of the county and countless volunteer hours by relatively few people, the dedication ceremony in November was planned and executed. It was, in the opinion of all that attended a singularly moving event.

Following the dedication, and no doubt a result of the ceremony itself, more than 600 additional bricks were purchased. As you can imagine, this was not anticipated when original timetables were established. Again, names had to be entered, cross-checked, information gaps filled, and so on. In essence, the work load was nearly doubled as a result. They were faced with the task of removing the original bricks, which had been laid in sand, and repositioning them adding the 600 new ones. This, of course, involved not only the removal, but the paving, relaying and mortaring of more than 1500 bricks.

The effort involved has been extraordinary, and the community has expressed both pride in our memorial and gratitude towards the volunteers who worked so hard to make it a reality.