By David J.Griffin
Several veterans, community leaders, and other workers placed the finishing touches on the Powell County Veterans Memorial Park in front of the courthouse last Tuesday afternoon. In spite of a cool day and a slight rain, five granite statues, each representing a branch of the armed services, were positioned around the perimeter of the park.
The final phase of the park was a culmination of a three-year project, costing approximately $190,000, to honor United States soldiers from Powell County who sacrificed their time and energy, and sometimes their lives, defending America. Life-size granite statues were placed around the park representing the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard. U. S. Congressman Ben Chandler was instrumental in securing a grant for $150,000 to begin the park.
On Tuesday the following individuals assisted in the erection of the five statues: Luther Lane (Army), Ted Johnson (Army), Chester Lacy (Marines), Gale Means (Army), Charles Pelfrey (Army), Jeff Lane (Navy), Everett “Junebug” Todd (Army), Jason Roger, and James Ed Dennis. Many other veterans and individuals have also labored toward completion of the park. The land was provided by the Powell County Fiscal Court.
Dennis Monument Company has been responsible for the actual stone work and the engraving of the granite memorial. James Ed Dennis remarked, “Three years ago this committee came to me, and I had finished several of these in other cities. Every time I did one, I gained additional knowledge about Veteran parks. Because this is my hometown, I wanted this one to be really special. My brother, Danny, and I said we would purchase one of the statues in honor of our Dad, Ish Dennis. Each of the statues is made of a solid piece of granite.”