The next monument placed on will be notably different from those that stand there now.
The order of the names on it will not be alphabetical. They will be determined by a lottery.
Town Veterans Service Officer Jim Schultz cites two reasons for this.
One: missing names invariably surface over the years.
Those who rally the town to build a new monument do their best to advertise their efforts and collect names of all who served in a given war.
But the town does not have an archive of veterans’ records, Schultz said.
The military stores records.
And so names get missed.
Take the Vietnam War Veterans Honor Roll. It now has about 450 names on it.
Names have been added several times in the past.
And more names must be added, he said.
One veteran was visiting town on vacation from California and noticed his name was missing. He called Schultz.
Another veteran, from Alaska, learned that his name and his brother’s name were missing from the granite honor roll. He wrote Schultz a letter.
Soon a stone engraver from Everett will add their names to the end of the monument. There is no room to place the names among the others, alphabetically.
The second reason Schultz prefers names to go on a monument via a lottery is that the apparent random order encourages visitors to spend more time looking at the monument.
Instead of scanning names alphabetically for a particular person they must search for the name.
And as they search they will see others.
Schultz got the idea for abandoning the alphabetical ordering of names after his father-in-law told him about a monument in Derry, NH.
Monument organizers there had listed names in seemingly random order.
Schultz visited the monument and liked the idea.
He hopes to have a chance to use it this year.
He and others are trying to get a Global War on Terror monument up in the next six months or so.