By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun
— After several years of planning, doing research, raising funds and preparations, ground was broken Sunday, March 30 in Kerens at 219 S. Colket St. for the Kerens Veterans Memorial.
A large crowd was in attendance on a gloriously sunny day with a slight breeze as the AFJROTC Color Guard from Corsicana High School did the flag presentation, Alyssa Wilchar sang the National Anthem, and Kerens Chapter FFA led the Pledge of Allegiance. Rev. Ernest Betts Jr. of New Bethel Baptist Church led the invocation, followed by a welcome from Tommy Darby, president of the Kerens Ex-Students Association board.
Danny Combs, chairman of the Kerens Veterans Memorial committee, spoke about how much community participation and support contributed to this project becoming a reality.
“We will pour the concrete next month — in April!” Combs said. “All the monuments have been ordered, and it is all paid for.”
Combs said the committee considered going with gray granite, because it was less expensive than the black granite in the original sketches, but decided they wanted only the best for the Kerens veterans.
Funds have come from a grant from the Navarro Community Foundation, financial gift from the Masonic Lodge in Kerens, individual contributions (cash, land, labor, materials), the 2013 Memorial Day Fish Fry, and the sales of commemorative coins, brick pavers, and memorial benches.
Veterans from World War II all the way to Iraqi Freedom were on hand to “turn the dirt” for the groundbreaking.
The next fundraiser will be held from 11 a.m. To 1 p.m. May 24 at the KESA Building in downtown Kerens, when the second annual Fish Fry takes place.