American Village's CEO and Founder Tom Walker explains the facets of the National Veterans Shrine during the ground-breaking ceremoney July 4. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

Archived Story

Breaking ground for veterans’ shrine

Published 3:16pm Thursday, July 5, 2012

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – Hundreds of families and veterans from across the state visited the American Village July 4 for a celebration of the United States’ 236th birthday.

With a full schedule of events, families interacted with historical figure, heard the Declaration of Independence and marveled at fireworks.

The day also featured the ground breaking of a new offering at the American Village

CEO and Founder Tom Walker introduced the veterans living legacy project.

The National Veterans Shrine will be patterned after Carpenters Hall in Philadelphia.

Walker said a “heroic figure of liberty” will hold a fallen soldier inside the shrine, symbolizing “those who mourn and those left behind.”

The figure will be surrounded by a five-foot painting of “those who have gone before us and kept the faith,” Walker said.

The shrine will hold kiosks with access to photos, videos, biographies and stories of more than 100,000 veterans, both living and dead, in the register of honor.

According to the American Village website, Americanvillage.org, the Veterans Register of Honor website will launch soon, and veterans and their families will be able to register, upload videos, photographs and stories.

“Thank you for your support of our military and our nation,” said Tom Butler, immediate past chair of the American Village’s board of trustees. “Now we can honor all veterans from the state of Alabama in one location. This is truly one outstanding monument to them.”

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