• 61°

Priceville breaks ground on memorial

Local leaders and veteran's group representatives break ground on the new Morgan County Veterans Memorial on Alabama 67 in Priceville. | Brent Maze

The Town of Priceville celebrated the country’s 235th birthday by breaking ground on the new Morgan County Veterans Memorial.

Town leaders and a host of others including county commissioners, state legislators and military veteran groups moved red clay dirt with shovels on the warm, humid morning to signify the beginning of a nearly $300,000 memorial, which will honor heroes born in Morgan County who served or were killed in action during one of the country’s conflicts.

One person in particular who was glad to see this memorial being built was Bill Smith. The veteran has a memorial of his own, a flag that flies on the back of his motorcycle with the names of Morgan County natives killed in Vietnam.

He said he’s looking forward to the day when the names on his flag will be added to the memorial.

“I think it’s a great thing that they’re doing,” Smith said. “It’s something that should have been done a long time ago.”

Priceville Mayor Melvin Duran said his municipality has contributed $25,000 to the project. State Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, also presented the town with a $25,000 community service grant from the State of Alabama.

“We’ve still got a long way to go,” Duran said. “I’m just so glad that our town council made the commitment to build this memorial here in Priceville. This is something special for our entire county.”

The park will be located along Alabama 67 next to its existing city park. It will have five different memorials for each branch of the military along with a fallen soldiers monument that will have the inscription, “All gave some, some gave all.”

The city is also planning to acquire military equipment to represent each branch of the military.

Orr said the state’s donation was “seed money” to help to the project get started.

“This is to honor those men and women who have fought for our freedom that we enjoy,” Orr said. “I encourage all of the other county commissioners and other local leaders to support this memorial.”

Duran said this park is not just for Priceville, but also for all of Morgan County.

“This is the people’s park,” Duran said. “This is to honor our veterans and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. It’s for the families and friend of those. It’s for everyone in Morgan County.”