Group selling bricks to honor local veterans in Ash Flat - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Group selling bricks to honor local veterans in Ash Flat

ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) – People choose to honor our nation's veterans in many different ways.

Families in Sharp County have shown their appreciation in recent years using something unusual – a brick.

The bricks are displayed at the American Veterans Memorial in Ash Flat, where families can have their loved one's name etched onto a brick so that they are remembered for keeping our country's foundation strong.

"The bricks are in honor of any veteran," Leonard Holden Jr. of Hardy said, "no matter which service they served in and no matter when they served."

Holden and his family have a long history of military service.

"One of my ancestors served, and he was a prisoner in the French and Indian War," Holden said.

In addition to having relatives that fought in the American Revolutionary War, the Civil War and World War I, Holden himself served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

"I spent about a year in Korea during the war as a forward radar observer on the front lines in the last year of the war," he said.

A brick was laid to remember his service along with more than 2,700 others at the veterans' memorial in Ash Flat, that Holden helped design.

Organizers plan to expand the memorial but must first fill up two remaining walls with bricks.

"We still have room for 1,200 or 1,500 [more bricks]," Holden said.

He now hopes more people come forward to honor those who serve in the defense of freedom, just as he and hundreds of others have.

"The years go by and they're forgotten, but we shouldn't forget what those people did," he said. "That's the primary reason for this memorial is to remember what those people did."

The memorial is dedicated to every veteran, so bricks can be named for anyone – no matter where they live.

The veterans' memorial committee plans to place another order on April 1 for new bricks, which cost $50 apiece.

"That money is used to maintain the memorial," Holden said, "and to help with the rest of the construction we want to do here."

If people are interested in purchasing a brick, they should call Ash Flat City Hall at 870-994-7324; Leonard Holden at 870-856-2268; or Nelson Gatewood at 870-856-2216.

The American Veterans Memorial is located on Nix Ridge Road in Ash Flat.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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