About ten years ago the local Veterans Council began dis­cus­sions about cre­at­ing a World War II/Korean War memo­r­i­al for Clark County. A design com­pe­ti­tion was held and a design was select­ed. Shortly there­after, efforts were under­way to secure fund­ing for the memo­r­i­al and numer­ous dona­tions were forth­com­ing as well.

Gates Precast vol­un­teered to pro­vide some of the con­crete ele­ments. A flag­pole was offered but unfor­tu­nate­ly, it was not as spec­i­fied in the design, and vol­un­teer site work was offered. Memorial bricks were sold (and those pur­chasers are still record­ed and the mon­ey secured), and the city and coun­ty gov­ern­ments each ded­i­cat­ed funds to the project.

The biggest hur­dle faced by the coun­cil was find­ing a suit­able site for the memo­r­i­al. Numerous oppor­tu­ni­ties were pur­sued. Finally, Kentucky Bank offered a long-term lease for a por­tion of its prop­er­ty at the cor­ner of Lexington Avenue and Maple Street.

Events over­took the project. Efforts to secure tax-exempt sta­tus for the project stalled, fund-rais­ing came to a halt and, after sev­er­al years, Kentucky Bank sold the prop­er­ty to CVS so the coun­cil no longer had the land option.

Interest in the project lan­guished and the Veterans Council vir­tu­al­ly ceased to exist.

Now, in 2021, it seems that the project may be re-emerging.

And it is time!

The num­ber of World War II vet­er­ans is rapid­ly dwin­dling; there are only a hand­ful still liv­ing in Clark County, and indeed, any­where. And Korean War vet­er­ans are rapid­ly enter­ing their 90s.

It would be grat­i­fy­ing if this memo­r­i­al could be built before they are all gone and no longer able to see a trib­ute to their service.

Clark County lost eighty-two of its cit­i­zens in World War II and nine­teen in the Korean War. Many more served and were wound­ed or sim­ply did their duty and returned home.

The County has memo­ri­als to World War I and to Vietnam, both con­flicts in which few­er cit­i­zens died than in the two con­flicts which this new memo­r­i­al would rec­og­nize, and one must won­der why.

Numerous suit­able sites have been not­ed here that could be acquired at no cost if the own­ers would con­sent to their use.

Many oth­er com­mu­ni­ties in this state much small­er than Winchester have such memo­ri­als. There is no good rea­son why this project can­not or should not move forward.

  • Chuck Witt

    Chuck is a retired archi­tect, a for­mer news­pa­per colum­nist, and a life­long res­i­dent of Winchester.