A Carrollton Alderwoman is working to bring a new landmark to the Greene County Courthouse to honor the county’s veterans – old and new.
Bernie Faul says she got the idea of creating the Veterans Freedom Walkway for the courthouse’s lawn after some recognition for local veterans was taken down around the Carrollton square: “This started when my son was in the Air Force, and around the square (and I have a graphic of this so I made them) some 18×18 aluminum core signs and we put on [the signs] the service member’s name and a yellow ribbon and what branch they serve in. Well, when [the city] painted the poles on the square, they took them all down. I kept noticing that they were never put back up. Before I became an alderwoman, I was going to city council meetings and I asked [the council at the time]: ‘When are you going to put these signs back up?’ I was told they weren’t going to because some of them were all bent up and they just weren’t in good shape. Well, I kind of knew that wasn’t right because aluminum core doesn’t bend very easily. The more I thought about it, I was telling my neighbor: ‘These young people that aren’t associated with the military at all don’t realize how much these people that go into the military give up.'”
Faul says that she quickly formed a committee with her neighbors, some fellow alderman, and local veterans and began devising plans on how to raise funds for the walkway, how to design it, and where to put it.
Faul says she’s already received tremendous support from many in the area, including help from the Eldred American Legion. Faul says she intends to reach out to the the state chapters of the VFW and the American Legion for further financial assistance.
Location of the walkway was the first obstacle that Faul attempted to tackle. She originally had plains for the park to be located on the north edge of Carrollton in Rainey Park, but withdrew those plans due to the park’s long-standing issues with flooding. She says another suggested site was the old Carrollton water tower site located across from the Greene County Jail, but Faul says she felt that location was too far out of the public’s eye. She says that she then approached the Greene County Board about locating the walkway on the Courthouse lawn. She says many members of the courthouse and the board were excited about the idea and she was told to proceed with a design to present to the board for final approval.
Faul says her current designs for the walkway are based off the Veteran’s Monument in New Berlin. Faul says she got connected with New Berlin Area Veterans Memorial committee president Paul Sweet who has helped with the design and engineering. The Carrollton Walkway will have a black granite wall design that will have the names of service members from Greene County engraved into it for the ages to be honored.
Faul encourages all of those who have served or is currently serving in the military to contact her for more information: “You can mail me a check, but people should contact me or members of the committee whether they can afford it or not if they have a military connection. We can work it out with them. We have a couple of people who have given us some funds (they didn’t want recognition, they just want to pay for some people who can’t afford it) and the young kids…I mean this is for all ages. That’s my main goal, to try and make sure I get everybody that’s got an association with the military and is from Greene County that wants on that monument to get honored.”
Faul will be giving a presentation to members of the public and the Greene County Historical and Genealogical Society on Sunday, March 20th at the Carrollton United Methodist Church located on Maple Street and U.S. 67 at 2PM about the Veterans Walkway. More details about the monument and costs will be presented.
Faul says that members of the public can easily find her in Carrollton if they want more information. Gene Todd, Bob Shannon, Carol Witt, Terry Gross, and Luke Smith can also be contacted for more information.