Randy Ark looks over the inscription on the back of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that’s in Veterans Park in Springfield. South Charleston has asked Ark for advice on building a memorial to veterans in that village. Bill Lackey/Staff

Clark County village makes plans to build veterans memorial

A Clark County community wants to build a monument that shows its appreciation to local veterans.

The Village of South Charleston was approached by Southeastern High School students a few years ago with a proposal to build a veteran’s memorial.

A committee member, Leonard Kadel, said those students kept coming to commission meetings with the proposal.

Then another village resident with a similar idea stepped forward and created a partnership between the community and the high school.

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“It’s just a way to honor veterans and veterans from all of the different wars,” Kadel said.

The committee organizer is an Air Force veteran who served four years in Texas.

“Being a fellow veteran, it means a lot to me,” Kadel said. “The young people in this community are fantastic.”

Southeastern High School sophomore Charlie Bertemes brought the idea back to the school’s student council.

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“I’d like to have a large circular area, with multiple flags around and a nice monument in the middle,” Bertemes said.

The committee liked the idea as well and contacted a local veteran and advocate.

That veteran, Randy Ark, is largely responsible for the veteran’s memorials in Springfield.

Ark will be helping the village by advising them on how to proceed with the memorial.

The Vietnam veteran said memorials are needed.

Recently he had been at the Springfield memorial when he met a woman who saw her uncle’s name on the monument.

“Veterans bring their relatives here. It was like that couple that was just here. You know, she saw her uncle on there,” Ark said.

He would like to bring that same feeling to the Village of South Charleston.

The community is still in the process of raising money for the memorial but would like to have it built by the end of the year.

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