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JIM: Installation of the War Memorial, August 1947

In this story, Jim unveils pages of history everyone is asking about today: The story of the Columbia Post 6097 Veterans of Foreign Wars Monument. Turns out, it is older than many knew: It was approximately 70 years old, give or take a few days.
Click on headline for complete story with some fascinating details


(From the August 13, 1947 edition of the Adair County News)

War Memorial Erected at Park

Erection of the beautiful monument ordered months ago by Columbia Post 6097 Veterans of Foreign Wars, was completed yesterday at the entrance to Memorial Park. It is a credit to the community and will stand throughout the years as a tribute to the service men and women who gave their lives in World Wars I and II.

The broad handsome shaft of granite made and erected by the Sparta Monument Works, of Sparta, Tenn., has been placed in the center of the semi-circular entrance way to the park and when the entire project is completed with stone fencing outlining the driveways, properly landscaped and lighted, it will represent an outlay of approximately $4,000 which the V.F.W. hopes to finance through the sale of tickets on the new Ford Fordor Deluxe Sedan to be given away Friday night.

The names of World War II dead appear on the front side of the monument and those of World War I are inscribed upon the other side. At the top is the eagle and under that, the inscription, "Honoring All Who Served and Dedicated To The Memory of those who made the Supreme Sacrifice in World War II and World War I." A flag pole bearing "Old Glory" tops the shaft.

The public is invited to view the memorial and urgently requested by the V.F.W. to aid in preserving the monument from all damage which might be caused by accident or from vandals. Some names are missing but will be added at a later date.

Plans are being made to dedicate the Memorial on Armistice Day, November 11, and at that time the park entrance will be completed.


An article published in the newspaper eleven months earlier -- September 11, 1946 -- noted the monument was to be constructed of native stone and that after a great deal of public discussion, a committee had been formed, charged with making "final selection of the type of memorial." The members were V.F.W. members John Burr, Ivan Shively, and Wallace Jones, all World War Two veterans; Mrs. Carrie Shipp, widow of 1Lt. Gene Kenneth Shipp, a B-17 navigator who perished during World War Two; U.S. Harmon, World War One veteran; and Finis Cundiff, father of Pvt. William Richard Cundiff, who died by a German sniper's bullet in 1944.

(Several names from World Wars I & II were never added to the tablet.)

This story was posted on 2017-08-04 08:45:57
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Bull Run Farm family in for historic moment

2017-08-04 - 400 Block of Fairground Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener,
Former Adair County City Clerk Jane Akin Keltner kept a wary lookout as Molly, left, and Howard Keltner paid close attention to the work to get the VFW Memorial move underway. The couple shares farm responsibilities 50-50. Jane takes care of the Canine side of the operation, Howard has a deal with young farmer Bruce Willis on the Bovine side. Howard Keltner wanted to know some of the dates pertinent to the monument, the swimming pool, and the VFW Post 6097 hall, answered fortuitously, by JIM, in the accompanying article.

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