Blooming Grove Building WWII Memorial
Bruce Lane was only 8 years old, but
he remembers searching names painted on the outside of Sissom's Variety Store
for the names of hsi brothers, cousins and uncles who were overseas fighting
World War II. Now men who served their country during the war.
Lane formed the World War Veteran's Memorial Committee of Blooming Grove. The
committee is erecting a monument to commemorate Blooming Grove residents who
fought in WWII.
"Back then, we didn't have any television," Lane said. "Sissom's was was the
fastest way to give out information on local people serving in the war. Now is all
faded and we wanted to do something that was permanent and forever."
The memorial will consist of 5 pieces of Georgia gay granite inscribed with the
names, rank and branch of service of Blooming Grove residents who served during
WWII. The memorial will also feature a planter box ad three flags with
The flags flying on those poles will be the United States flag, the Texas flag
and a newly designed Blooming Grove flag. "The committee is looking for
contestants to submit ideas for the new flag. The contest ends July 1, 1999.
"Many of the smaller towns don't have a community flag. We decided that was
something we wanted to include in the memorial and we've had a lot of interest.
We already have about 2 dozen applicants," Lane said.
The memorial will be located in the southeast corner of A. L. Garrison Park.
The city of Blooming Grove will remove the jail to make room for the site of the
memorial. The committee plans to hold a dedication of the memorial on October
16, 1999 at 10:30 a.m.
Lane said the memorial will honor man and beast.
"My cousin gave me his German shepherd when he was drafted," Lane said.
"The dog got drafted. He walked the perimeter on an ammunition dump in Germany
with a Master Sergeant every night."
The dog's name was Snitch. His name will be on the memorial along with another
Blooming Grove canine R. D. Doc" Garrison's German Sheppard, Jack, who was also
drafted into the service.
The project is spearheaded by ex-students of Blooming Grove. The committee is
holding bake sales, a rifle raffle, bake sales and a gospel concert to help
raise the $15,000 needed to complete the memorial. Lane estimates the committee
is halfway to meeting their goal.
"The community has really been behind us on this project," Lane said.
"Its been a really joy to work with everyone in the community."
World War II Veterans' Memorial Committee of Blooming Grove is the same group
that put together Ruth Ramsey Scholarship and organized a parade honoring World
War II veterans.
"I wasn't old enough to serve in the war, but I knew the severity of the war and
I knew some of the guys who were killed, and it made such impression that I
really feel a debt to these veterans," Lane said. "I really feel strongly that
we needed to do something for them before it was too late."
Sun - Sunday, June 13, 1999