MAN, W.Va. — A dedication ceremony for the military memorial Freedom Hill at Man is set for noon Saturday, April 23.
Freedom Hill, a memorial to honor military veterans, was a project of Man Mayor Jim Blevins. Blevins said the idea for the memorial came from the veteran’s memorial in Charleston.
“Every time I would go by there I would tell my wife that if I am ever the mayor of the town I will build that for our deceased soldiers and for those who have served our country,” Blevins said.
The dedication will feature speakers such as Major General James Hoyer, Adjutant General/National Guard, and Logan County Commission members, along with a 21-gun salute.
“It is suppose to start at noon but if you can come a little early because some of the speakers have other appointments during the day they have to get to,” Blevins said. “General Hoyer is supposed to be there, but if not, he will send someone. We are also having the ROTC.”
The memorial features granite block memorials dedicated in memory of military veterans. Blocks can be purchased by families in memory of a military veteran or an honored family member or friend.
“I still have about 85 blocks to sell. They come in bronze, silver and gold,” Blevins said.
Blevins said the memorial prices are bronze is $100, silver is $200 and gold is $300. The blocks are approximately six inches by 12 inches.
“They are very beautiful,” Blevins said. “They are jet black.”
Blevins said total cost on the memorial will come to around $63,000 with funding coming from donations and block purchases.
“The Logan County Commission kicked me off with several donations. They have been very good to us,” Blevins said. “The rest has come from the blocks I have sold.”
Blevins said anyone can purchase a block, and the person honored does not have to be military veteran.
“It’s not just for service people, civilians can be honored too,” Blevins said. “Anyone you want to put on it. I’ve lost two members of my family in the last six or eight months and I put two of them up there.”
Anyone wanting to purchase a block memorial can reach Blevins at Man Town Hall at 304-583-9631.
Martha Sparks is a news reporter and can be reached at 304-752-6950, ext. 1728, or via Twitter at @MarthaSparks.