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Archer Lodge’s veterans memorial debuts Sunday

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ARCHER LODGE — The town’s long-awaited veterans memorial makes its debut at 3 p.m. Sunday, next to the Archer Lodge Town Hall, 14094 Buffalo Road.

The memorial comes as residents celebrate the 10th anniversary of Archer Lodge’s incorporation as a town.

The idea of a veterans memorial goes back five years, recalled Mike Gordon, the town manager and former longtime mayor.

“Councilman Mike Wilson and I had a conversation about it,” said Gordon. “We felt Archer Lodge should have one. We talked to local residents about it and formed a committee.”

Gordon said he knew what he wanted in a veterans memorial but didn’t know how to get there.

The town of Princeton has a veterans memorial and Archer Lodge reached out to its officials for advice.

“They were helpful and we were deeply appreciative,” said Gordon. “Then we asked the art class at Corinth Holders High School to submit designs.”

“They were very enthusiastic young people and did watercolor portraits, which gave us a starting point,” said veterans memorial committee member Connie Mulhollen. “The design changed dramatically during the process. We had tremendous imput from the community.”

Rusty Ritchie, formerly with RDR Land Design and now with Bland Landscaping, played an integral role in the project, said Gordon.

“Bland said they wanted to complete the project,” said Gordon. “They spent as much time as needed to complete the project and have been very supportive.”

“We researched the centerpiece, received a lot of different ideas,” Mulhollen said. “It was a great team effort.”

Construction on the memorial began nearly two years ago, said Gordon. The town donated 5,000 square feet of land for the $150,000 project.

The town raised money for the project through its monthly Biscuit ‘n’ Brick sales on the third Friday of every month at the Archer Lodge Community Center. The biscuits were sold for a donation to the memorial fund.

The committee got the biscuits from U.S. Foods, the ham from Steven’s Sausage and the sausage for the biscuits from Nahunta Pork Center.

“It’s amazing what you can do with bricks and biscuits,” said Wilson, referring to the sale of commemorative brick pavers for the memorial. “Now, it’s all paid for.”

The veterans memorial committee’s members are Mike Mulhollen, co-chairman and treasurer; Saundra Freeman, co-chair; Mark Jackson, assistant treasurer; Sue Boyette, Ray Boyette, Rick Cox, Matt Mulhollen, Eli Mulhollen, Rowan Mulhollen, Mike Gordon, Mark Wilson, Jim Purvis, Douglas Long, Daniel Wall, Bill Siler, Steve McConnel, Teresa Purvis and Jane Wilson.