By Jesse Wood
As part of the Downtown Boone Development Association and Town of Boone’s Fourth of July festivities, the High Country Chapter of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) will present the three design finalists for the Watauga County Veterans’ Memorial.
Following the parade on July 4, the festivities will move to the Jones House, where the public can join Mayor Rennie Brantz and other town staff under the shade trees for a slice of cake and fresh watermelon.
The Jones House is located across the street from where the memorial will be installed in the summer of ’18. The sculpture will be placed next to Town Hall at 537 W. King Street.
Public participation is encouraged. HCCMOAA members will be present from 10 a.m. until the crowds disperse to answer any questions about the plans and to accept donations. The artists will also be on hand to speak with the public about their particular sculpture designs and show off maquettes or small-scale models of their proposals.
The finalists are Suzie Hallier’s (shown here): “Time and Honor;” Clint Button’s: “Boone Veterans Memorial Courtyard;” and Wesley Wofford’s: “Marching Out of History to Forge the Future.”
The project is a collaboration between the Town of Boone, Watauga County and the High Country Chapter of Military Officers Association of America.
Organizers received 19 sculpture proposals. The design contest committee narrowed those down to three, and after the public weighs in on the finalists during Independence Day, the committee will then commission one of the proposals.
The finalists were chosen based on particular criteria listed in the prospectus for the design competition, such as the inclusion of land, sea and air operations; past, present and future conflicts; and male and female soldiers of all ethnicities. The sculptures must reflect the culture of and fit within the landscape of the High Country. A safety element is also considered because it will have a mobile audience in downtown Boone.
The project has a $250,000 fundraising goal. The HCCMOAA started things off with $10,000. Watauga County donated $25,000, and the Town of Boone donated the downtown site and will provide preliminary site preparation and future maintenance and insurance.
Donations are still needed and can be made online at www.hccmoaa.com or mailed to:
Watauga County Veterans Memorial Fund
c/o High Country MOAA
P.O. Box 3312
Boone, NC 28607