Army Tank Moved to Ash Flat for Veterans' Memorial

Nobember 9, 2006 -- Posted at 6:16 p.m. CDT

ASH FLAT, AR -- A World War II era tank is moved from one side of Region 8 to the other.  The tank had been on display at the VFW in Paragould for many years, now the tank will be part of a new veterans' memorial in Ash Flat.

"They could no longer maintain it or keep it at their unit so they asked us if we wanted it and of course we said yes," said Veteran Leonard Holden.

"I started working on that and had to go through the military and through the army to get a release on the tank and we went over a few times to look at it," said Veteran Nelson Gatewood.

The tank is a M-46 and weighs about 98,000 pounds.

Planners worked really hard to bring this tank here and say having it here will bring a sense of visual and hands on history to Ash Flat.

"We'll have a history wall over here and different types of walls with pictures and statues.   It'll be a real history lesson," said Gatewood.

Veterans in Ash Flat have wanted to build this memorial for a long time.

"I'd never acted on it until three years ago when we invaded Iraq and I thought, 'Now is the time to do it, and if its going to be done in my lifetime I need to get it started'," said Holden.

"It's one of the greatest things I think that's come to this community.  It's a real asset to the community and a great tribute to all the veterans in the community," said Gatewood.

The total cost of the memorial is about $350,000 and was paid for through donations.

The memorial will be dedicated on Friday at 10 a.m., and it's no accident that it's being done on Veterans' Day weekend.

"Veterans' Day is a celebration day to recognize what Veterans have done for this country and the sacrifices that they made as well as their families," said Holden.

For some visitors to the memorial the tank will be the big draw as well as other battle pieces.

"We have some other military equipment such as the Howitzer Cannon that's set over here already," said Holden.

Planners say they plan to add more pieces of military history over the years.