By Max Hrenda
The inscription on the Soldiers Monument in downtown Elizabethton serves as a reminder of the service and sacrifice of Carter County’s soldiers from every side of every war.
As the celebration of the monument’s centennial looms – Saturday, Oct. 12, at noon – County Historian Scott Bowers, who has spearheaded much of the event’s organizational efforts, hopes all who attend will remember those words.
“We want to give a nice presentation, a nice ‘thank you,’ to our veterans, the ones who are here and the ones who have already passed,” Bowers said.
Based on the support, both financial and emotional, that he and other organizers have received, Bowers added that the
didn’t think the spirit of the event would be lost on those who attend.
“The outpouring has been fantastic,” Bowers said. “The fact that we’re getting something like this put together with no money says a lot about this county and its residents. Business owners to farmers, everyone is wanting to contribute something.”
Although Bowers has handled many of the event’s organizational efforts, he admitted that those efforts were actually contributions to a campaign that had already begun three years ago.
“When I was appointed historian last October, I was doing some research … when I stumbled across the letter to the editor in The Mountaineer by J.G. Burchfield proposing his idea for a monument,” Bowers said. “So I thought, I’m going to call the (Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce) and see if they realize what kind of anniversary we have here. They called me back, and said a man by the name of Gene Sams was in there two days ago asking the exact same thing.”