The 40-foot half circle of polished stones nestled in the shade of green trees will soon be the latest addition to the memorials set along the west end of Ochoco Creek Park.
>The POW/MIA memorial will be complete in September just in time for the national day of recognition for POW/MIA
Scheduled to be complete in September the new monument commemorating military personnel who spent time as prisoners of war, as well as those missing in action, is thought to be the only one of its kind in existence.
Costing $22,000 to construct the Circle of Honor Monument is the result of a lot of hard work on the part of dedicated individuals, businesses and organizations.
Fundraising began more than two years ago with a string of barbeques, raffles and special events. Combined with public donations and grants organizers now look forward to the monument's construction.
"The city gave us $2,500 and the county gave us $2,500, which helped," explained American Legion Auxiliary member Louise Carter. "Many businesses and organizations in addition to the various veterans organizations also made contributions toward this effort."
Hinting that the National Guard Armory might soon relocate to the Crook County area, Prineville Mayor Steve Uffelman was on hand earlier this week for the ground breaking. "These kinds of things demonstrating the recognition that Prineville has of the armed forces is very beneficial," he said.
Ufflelman continued reading from the official proclamation, " ... it is the goal of the Crook County POW/MIA monument committee that no prisoner of war or anyone missing in action shall have served in vain."
Certainly that goal will be met with the new memorial as prisoners of war and missing in action who served in World War I and II, the Korean, Viet Nam and Desert Storm Wars will will be commemorated in stone.
Actual construction begins immediately and is planned to take up to three weeks to complete _ just in time for the National POW/MIA Recognition Day, September 15.
On that day in Prineville a celebration will mark the monument's completion. From 7 a.m. to dusk festivities include an official dedication and day-long celebration.
Starting with a parade and speeches, the community will be treated to an all-day barbeque, vendors in the park, sky divers, an Air National Guard fly-over as well as children's games and toe-tapping entertainment.
The event will conclude with a candle light vigil at the monument while the Crook County NJROTC perform the lighted rifle drill. A time capsule containing a signed scroll is also scheduled to be placed in the monument for posterity.
For more information on the upcoming events or for vender information call 447-7550 or 416-9782.