So. China American Legion plans expansion of Veterans monument

South China Post commander Neil Farrington at the Veterans Monument.

by Eric W. Austin

The Boynton-Webber American Legion Post #179 has recently announced plans to expand the veterans memorial at the four corners in South China Village. The plan entails adding a brick pathway leading up to the monument, with the names of veterans engraved on each brick.

The GAR Hall which used to be at the location of the South China veterans monument.

“My idea for the brick walkway at the South China memorial is to honor our local veterans,” says Post #179 Commander Neil Farrington. “It really doesn’t matter if you served during a time of war or in peacetime. This project is meant to honor all area veterans.”

The site of the South China memorial has historical significance to the town of China. Originally, it was the location of a GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Hall dedicated to a local hero of the Civil War, Captain James Parnell Jones, who was known as the “Fighting Quaker” for his bravery in that conflict. Later, in 1949, the spot became the site of the first American Legion Hall, in South China, before the current building on Legion Memorial Drive was erected in 1968.

A sample of the engraved bricks.

There is already a memorial at the town office for veterans who served in World War II, but Commander Farrington hopes this project will be an opportunity to honor those who served in other conflicts, including the Civil War, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan, as well as veterans who served during peacetime between 1953-1963, a period of service that often goes unrecognized.

The new pathway will be built using 180 bricks purchased by the public and engraved with the names and service dates of local veterans. The cost for a brick is $100, with twenty-percent covering the cost of the engraving and the rest going toward the cost of a new heating and cooling system for the Legion Hall. (The American Legion is a registered nonprofit and donations for the project are tax-deductible.)

Anyone in the area towns around South China is invited to purchase a brick to remember a friend or relative who served in active duty or the National Guard. There will be room for up to three lines of 20 characters per line on each brick.

Bricks can be ordered by mailing a check payable to American Legion Post #179, PO Box 401, South China, ME 04358. Interested parties can request an order form by email at (or download it here), or by phone at 462-4321.

Orders should be submitted as soon as possible, with construction expected to commence in the spring.

The lights here at the monument show the location of the planned brick expansion.


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