Clarence Gray Sr., member of the Historical Society and a U. S. Army retiree, will coordinate the collection of names to be affixed to the Veterans’ Monuments in Jonesville’s historic Mineral Spring Park.
A Starmount High School graduate, Gray attended Johnson C. Smith University. He and his wife Betty returned to Jonesville after his military service.
Gray said he is excited about heading up this worthy project and has begun adding names to the lengthy list of veterans.
“We’ll be posting World War II names first,” Gray explained. “Veterans from that era are in their 70s, 80s and 90s. We want to honor them first. Then we’ll honor our Korean and Vietnam vets before adding other military eras.”
Park organizers anticipate the first list of World War II names to be posted when wheelchair accessible walkways are completed.
“With good weather and volunteer labor to help with landscaping, the first plaques should be in place this fall,” Gray said. “We’re also looking for masons to help in preparing the monuments. Some of the railing sections need to be patched and trimmed. We need to add railings to one bridge across Mineral Spring Branch. We want this to be a community project with different groups pitching in to make it a reality.”
Thus far, the Society has collected approximately 1000 names of WW II veterans from the Tri-County area. They are also seeking names of those who were in the reserves or in units not assigned to a combat theater.
“There are many more names to be added,” Gray noted. “Most of our names were provided by the Yadkin County Historical Society and Andrew Mackie. Our project would not be possible without their support.”
“After the first plaques are affixed, we will continue to collect names and update lists. Each year we will post additional names in a ceremony on Memorial Day. We will always keep a master list of names in the History Center. “
When adding a name, you will need to provide the approximate date(s) of service. Based on dates of service, veterans will be placed in war eras aligned with major conflicts such as the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam and the Middle East conflicts.
The Society is currently accepting donations to purchase the plaques on which names will be engraved.
“We can post 80 names for approximately $25. Plaques will fit the railing columns from sections of the Hugh Chatham Memorial Bridge. There will be on-going costs. The Town of Jonesville is assisting, but we will rely primarily on the community to help with this memorial. “
Donations for the Veterans’ Memorial Project may be made to the Jonesville Historical Society at 458 W. Main Street, Jonesville 28642. Donor names will also be listed on the monument.
For additional information, you may contact the History Center at 835-0077 or by email at email@example.com.