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The heroes putting up memorials to honor Garland County war heroes

We're sending out a special salute to a group in Hot Springs who took on a really tough job— all to honor Garland County's war heroes.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Even though many hands make light work, some jobs are just so heavy that you need a crane— especially when it's a hundred degrees outside.

"I've got no problem volunteering my time and equipment," said Larry Brown. "Whatever I can do." 

That has been a big help to the committee that maintains the Veterans Memorial Military Park in Hot Springs. When they needed some heavy lifting, they called on a group who was willing to put their backs, hands, and hearts into the project.

"The mission of our committee is to honor Veterans every day," said Jo West Taylor Davis, chair of the Garland County Veterans Memorial Committee. "We do it by mostly having at least two services a year, but the project we're working on today is moving the original Veteran's memorial."

Three huge slabs of granite, originally commissioned decades ago, needed to move across a parking lot into a showcase position in the stately spot opened in the park. 

It's all part of the committee's efforts to unify the city and county's monuments in the same place.

"I've got the equipment and, these guys, we want this memorial to mean something," said Brown. He had the right tool for the job: a telescoping crane used by his electrical contracting company. 

Though he also knows the monument holds a special place in his family's heart, as the father of Adam Brown, the fallen Navy Seal celebrated as one of Hot Springs' best-known war heroes.

"It's wonderful. A memorial like that should be permanent," said Dick Holden, who provided moral support alongside his wife, Wanda. The couple used to own Hot Springs Monument Company and Dick's father designed the memorial.

Their cheering was definitely something needed on a day with very heavy air and some very heavy slabs.

"We can never do enough for our Veterans," said Brad Sullivan, another of the handful of volunteers who have been working the straps, crowbars, and hammers to put the stones in place. "Any way we can honor them and memorialize them, that's what we need to do as Americans."

"We are a work in progress," said Taylor Davis, who said the committee hopes to next move a boulder that memorializes heroes from the Spanish-American War. "We try to be good stewards of their property and something that we can leave a lasting tribute to veterans."

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