South Charlotte

War memorial now displays soldier statues

A pair of 1.5-ton granite soldiers now flank the North Carolina Korean War Memorial in Mint Hill Park on Fairview Road, just off Interstate 485.

One statue depicts a soldier in a dress uniform, and the other is an image of a soldier in a poncho - a common site during the Korean War.

The statues and their matching bases - weighing in at about 4 tons each - arrived Monday from Elberton, Ga. The pieces are an important part of the $500,000 memorial that, when complete, will resemble the South Korean flag.

Four granite pillars engraved with the 789 names of North Carolinians either killed or missing in action are still to come. There also will be a fountain installed in the middle of the brick-walled circular memorial.

Organizers have raised about $400,000 and received an interest-free loan from a private individual to complete the project.

The loan will be paid off with contributions from Mint Hill businesses and the sale of granite pavers, which can be purchased by the public and engraved with the names of loved ones from any war the United States has ever engaged in.

Paver prices start at $200.

Contributors also can sponsor trees with markers for $1,000 each, to be planted around the memorial.

Once the memorial is complete, it will be turned over to the town of Mint Hill for maintenance and upkeep.

For more information, visit www.koreanwarmemorialnc.com.

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