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301 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
(850) 606-5300

County Commission Approves World War II Memorial

-Memorial to be placed in Front of County Courthouse –

Tuesday night, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved an agenda item introduced by Commissioner Tony Grippa to have World War II veterans recognized with a permanent memorial to be placed in front of the Leon County Courthouse. Commissioner’s Bill Proctor, Jane Sauls, Dan Winchester (chairman), Bob Rackleff, Rudy Maloy and Cliff Thaell all joined Commissioner Grippa in supporting the memorial and applauding the outstanding efforts of private citizens.

"Local citizens have been the driving force behind a campaign to get a permanent Tallahassee tribute to World War II veterans," said Commissioner Grippa. " As an elected official, and more so as an American, I felt it was my duty to rally behind the tireless efforts of our citizens. I think it's fantastic that we already have lasting memorials for veterans of the Vietnam and Korean wars, and now it's time to raise a permanent tribute to the veterans of World War II. This is not a political issue but a matter of honoring those who served our country. The county feels privileged to be providing the site for this memorial."

No public funds will be used for the purchase of the memorial. A group of Tallahassee residents-- Walli Beall, Almena Pettit, Adelaide Suber, Nancy Petrandis, Pickens Morgan, and Cheri Boyd--initiated the drive for a memorial in the fall of 2000. They mailed over 150 letters to area residents and spoke with numerous community organizations about the need for a memorial. Their efforts resulted in pledges and donations to the Community Foundation of North Florida in excess of $40,000 from more than 140 residents. The contributions leave the group just $10,000 shy of their $50,000 goal.

Plans are to purchase a bronze sculpture of a World War II veteran from local artist, Sandy Proctor. The sculpture depicts an aging veteran in full uniform, sitting on a bench as he steadies himself with a cane while clinching the American flag between his fingers.

The estimated cost breakdown for the memorial includes the purchase of the bronze sculpture ($35,000), a bench and installation ($5,000), inscribed bricks ($4,400), non-inscribed bricks ($1,000), a descriptive
plaque ($1,000), dedication ceremony incidentals ($1,000) and landscaping ($600).