SILVERHILL, Alabama — Hundreds gathered on Sunday, Jan. 12 for the dedication of new additions to the Silverhill Veterans Memorial.
Three 4-foot by 8-foot stones with the names of 647 veterans from Silverhill and the surrounding areas were put in place Dec. 4 by Stan Vinson of Mack Funeral Home Monuments in Robertsdale and James McKinley of Parkway Enterprises of Perdido. Prep work for the site was done by employees of the Town of Silverhill.
The stones were placed surrounding the memorial, which was dedicated in March of 2017, located in Paul Anderson Park, across from Town Hall at the corner of Alabama 104 and County Road 55 in Silverhill.
The memorial includes the first name, last name and middle initials of veterans from Silverhill and the surrounding areas, along with branch of service. Purple Heart designations have been added where applicable.
While each stone holds about 240 names, the final stone is not full and any future names will be added to additional stones, Kucera said.
Each structure includes a different saying at the top of each side and the final structure includes the words “Dedicated to the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces” across the bottom. The final stone also includes a logo for the Silverhill Veterans Memorial Organization along with the words, “The Citizens of Silverhill thank you for your service,” on the back.
Following a welcome by Silverhill Mayor Jared Lyles, opening prayer was offered by the Rev. Jesse Adams of Silverhill Covenant Church with Presentation of Colors and a 21-gun salute by the U.S. Armed Forces Honor Guard based out of Fairhope.
The singing of the National Anthem was followed by the placing of red, white and blue wreaths, red symbolizing those who served, white for the spouses of those who served and blue representing the children of those who served.
Dr. Barry Booth served as guest speaker for the event and was welcomed by organizer Frankie Kucera as a member of the Silverhill Veterans Memorial Organization.
Founding members, the Rev. John Sterling, who served in the U.S. Navy, and James Earl “Jim” Langley, who served in the U.S. Army, both founding members of the organization, were honored with the ringing of a ceremonial bell, led by Kucera and Joel Sterling.
Pledge of Allegiance was presented by Lamar Giles, followed by a closing prayer from the Rev. Jason Rothe of the First Baptist Church of Silverhill and TAPS by Joel Sterling.
A reception followed the ceremony at the Silverhill Town Hall.
The organization already has several names to be added to the structure and fundraising has begun to add more stones, along with other aesthetic additions to the memorial.
If you would like to donate to the project you can mail your contribution to the Silverhill Veterans Memorial Organization Inc., P.O. Box 94, Silverhill, AL 36576. You can also donate through the group’s Go Fund Me account online and through the Silverhill Veterans Memorial Organization page on Facebook.