Group selling bricks to honor local veterans in Ash Flat

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

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

The bricks are displayed at the American Veterans Memorialin Ash Flat, where families can have their loved one's name etched onto a brickso 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 theyserved."

Holden and his family have a long history of militaryservice.

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

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

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

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

Organizers plan to expand the memorial but must first fill uptwo 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 whoserve in the defense of freedom, just as he and hundreds of others have.

"The years go by and they're forgotten, but we shouldn'tforget what those people did," he said. "That's the primary reason for thismemorial is to remember what those people did."

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

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

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

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

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

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