Barton County wants to add to Golden Belt Memorial Park’s Veteran’s Memorial by adding two stones filled with the names of the area’s veterans on both sides of the existing granite memorial, which is engraved with the emblems of the military branches.
They have about 100 bought, but need over 1000 to fill the two stones. The County Administrator says they plan to wait until both stones are filled.
“It does seem like the pace is picking up,” county administrator Richard Boeckman said. “We are not getting overwhelmed, but we probably have three, four, five people a week coming in here, so we are making progress. I’m not concerned. It’s taking longer than I thought, but I think we will get there.”
The Steadman’s and their relatives alone have 15 lines. Hugh and Bill Steadman planned on getting a line for themselves as well as their late brother, Jack, and father and it grew from there. They especially wanted to honor their great-grandfather who fought with the Union in the Civil War.
“Our great grandfather is buried out here in the Great Bend cemetery,” Hugh said. “He’s a veteran of the Civil War and there’s no marking on his grave, at all, that shows he was a veteran of the civil war.”
Hugh and Jack both served in World War II while Bill was in the Korean War. Their father was in World War I and now Bill’s grandsons have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I’m particularly proud of my two grandsons,” Bill said. “The one who served in Iraq and the one who is still serving in Afghanistan.”
Once it is done, the family’s military history will be set in stone.
“Fifty years from now people will be viewing that memorial and see our names and say ‘oh, I remember the Steadman boys,’” Bill Steadman said.
The lines cost $45 dollars, which covers the engraving fees and the upkeep .The county administrator says you can contact his office if you are interested in buying a line. The person just has to have some sort of connection to Barton County.