ALBANY — A spokesman for American Legion Post 30 said Wednesday morning final preparations for a World War II monument honoring “The Greatest Generation” are ongoing as the Legion post tries to beat a Nov. 11 deadline to have the monument ready for a Veterans Day unveiling.
Charles “Nick” Nicholson, treasurer for Post 30 and the driving force behind the monument, said Wednesday last-minute details would be ready for the Veterans Day dedication “if things continue to go with us.”
The Albany City Commission gave Post 30 formal approval to locate the monument in Veterans Park during its business meeting Tuesday night.
“We’ve got the concrete guy looking at the site today, and the stone has been cut and polished and is being engraved as we speak,” Nicholson, a Vietnam veteran, said. “If they get the concrete poured by Friday and it has 10 days to cure, we should be alright.”
The monument, which lists the major Atlantic and Pacific battles of World War II, cost more than $19,000 and turned into a two-year project for its supporters.
“A World War II Navy man, John Sadler, said in the media that it was a shame to have a monument to Vietnam veterans and nothing for the ‘Greatest Generation’ military personnel who sacrificed their lives, fortune and families to save us from Hirohito and Hitler,” Nicholson said. “Our post commander called me in and said, ‘Nick, see what you can do about that.’ (Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff) Bodine Sinyard was the first person to contribute, giving us 500 bucks, and we’ve just been doing everything we could to raise the money we needed.
“We finally got enough for the monument, the concrete work and $5 left over to start a fund for a Korean War monument, which is our next project.”
In addition to Sinyard’s contribution, Nicholson said the area Marine Corps League and the Fleet Reserve Association gave $1,000 each, the Remaining Few Motorcycle Club raffled off a bike and donated $4,250 of the proceeds to the project, while the local VFW post gave $600 and the Air Force Sergeants Association $300. Post 30 held a fish fry fundraiser that netted $900 for the monument, and the group received “a bunch of $200, $100, $50 and $25 donations.”
Nicholson said all veterans and the general public are invited to the Veterans Day monument dedication, which is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 in the park adjacent to the Albany Civic Center.
Also at Tuesday’s commission work session, the board voted to:
— Ratify installation of stop signs at Gleneagles Drive at Palmer Court and Gleneagles at Bayhill Lane;
— Support the state-sponsored Historic Dixie Highway Scenic Byway;
— Ratify an intergovernmental agreement between the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority and the state Department of Transportation to put lighting along State Route 91 (Jefferson Street);
— OK use of $300,000 in additional SPLOST VI funds for construction of the SOWEGA Council on Aging senior center.
“I think you’ve done a great thing for the city of Albany,” Council Executive Director Kay Hind said after the vote.
With Ward I Commissioner Jon Howard making the request, the commission asked Mayor Dorothy Hubbard to send a letter of appreciation to outgoing Albany State University President Everette Freeman, who is leaving the university after nine years to serve as president of the Community College of Denver. Following that request, Ward VI’s Tommie Postell made the same request on behalf of former Darton President Peter Sireno, who was forced out of office by the State Board of Regents last week after 24 years in office.
“Dr. Sireno did an outstanding job of producing an outstanding institution,” Postell, a Darton alumnus, said.