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A New Order For Veterans Monuments

Organizers hope to put up a Global War on Terror monument next year. But do not look for the names to be listed in alphabetical order.

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.

Sandie Bock November 11, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Having Memorial Monuments is always nice for all of us to look at and realize those who have served and have sacrificed for their country. I think there are pros and cons of alphabetical and for random name order. When the Vietnam Memorial was being set up there were articles put out in papers if I remember correctly asking for names to be submitted. I know I submitted my own and that of Peter Mayer. Not sure if he didn't submit his own but wanted to make sure he was on that plaque of his service in Vietnam, he is my hero really. His service was a very difficult one and he did it with pride and honor. He was a Green Beret and at that time it was the premier soldier, highly trained to be fighting alone or in small squads. They saw many casualties and terrible visions. Today, i honor and remember Peter Mayer. He passed away a number of years ago but he is not gone from his family or my memory at all. RIP my friend.

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