Orange County has proudly supplied our men and women to serve their nation during times of war or conflict. Our first call to arms was in the fall of 1775, when the Orange County Militia was established on September 9, 1775. Our fledgling militia faced its first battle at Moore’s Creek Bridge near Wilmington in February 1776.
Now, more than 240 years later, the residents and friends of Orange County will recognize and honor their service with the Orange County Veterans Memorial.
The memorial site is flat and is at the crest of a hill across from the Southern Orange County Human Services Center on Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. Walking paths now exist from the Seymour Center. It is also easily accessible by car or by using Chapel Hill Transit. There is ample parking and it is wheelchair accessible.
Veterans groups from throughout the county have joined with the Veterans Memorial Committee to sponsor and raise money for the memorial. Orange County has joined with them to provide the site and support. Now we need you and your support.
We all know the importance of recognition for service. Our seniors often reflect on the service that they have provided to our towns, villages, county and country. We have not, however, joined together to build a significant memorial to honor our county veterans.
“My vision is to have the residents of our county design, build and fund a Veterans Memorial that we would be proud to say, ‘We did this ourselves. From our dimes to dollars grew this memorial to our veterans,’ ” said Lee Heavlin, Veterans Committee member and career navy man.
How can you help? You can donate today to the Veterans Memorial Fund. The memorial committee needs funds to continue design work and to prepare for the memorial. Ground breaking may be as soon as Veterans Day 2016, but donations and major pledges are needed now to make that possible.
Donating is as easy as visiting the memorial website and submitting your donation by credit card. All donations are accepted for the memorial by the Orange County Community Giving Fund and are tax deductible. Visit http://orangecountyveteransmemorial.com/donations to make a donation and to learn more.
You can also help by sharing the project with friends, civic groups and clubs, churches and schools as a community service fundraising project. Create the excitement that will make funding the project easier. The Veterans Committee can provide members to speak at your group. For assistance, contact Lee Heavlin, committee member and Fundraising Chair, at 919-260-6571.
Expected cost is about $500,000 for the memorial and memorial perpetual fund. Visit the memorial website for project history and more details.
To donate, visit the Orange County Community Giving Fund site, register and then select Veterans Memorial. Yes, the Community Giving Fund is a 501(3)(c) organization.