Orange County needs help to build a planned memorial to local men and women who served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
The Orange County Veterans Memorial fundraising campaign has a goal of $75,000 by the end of May. The official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday, May 29, at the Southern Human Services campus, 2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.
Local veterans have wanted a memorial for many years to honor the thousands of Orange County residents with military service, said Bruce Runberg, co-chairman of the Veterans Memorial Fundraising Committee and a retired U.S. Navy and Vietnam War veteran.
Private donations are paying for the memorial’s construction and landscaping, although Orange County has donated land at the Chapel Hill campus for the memorial, and the town of Chapel Hill also has provided support. The memorial will include walking trails and exhibits honoring all branches of the military.
“We want to remember those who protected our nation by creating a memorial that will honor their service and sacrifice,” said Jim Merritt, also a committee co-chairman, former Chapel Hill Town Council member and Vietnam Veteran. “It’s a way for our community to say we are proud of the service these veterans provided.”
Donations can be made online to the Orange County Community Giving Fund – ocncgiving.org. Checks can be sent to: Orange County Community Giving Fund, Financial Services, PO Box 8181, Hillsborough, NC 27278. Checks should indicate the gift is for the Veterans Memorial.
Families also can recognize their loved ones through memorial naming opportunities. More information is available at www.orangecountyveteransmemorial.com.