Crestview in Okaloosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial
made the supreme sacrifice
in all wars, POW and MIA
World War I
Cain, William R. USA · Harris, George O. USA
Cederstrom, Oscar. USA · Henderson, Horace J. USA
Copeland, Ernest USA · Hooten, Ralph E. USA
Copeland, Will USA · Miller, Willie P. USA
Cutts, William C. USA · Paul, Jessie J. USA
Davis, Jesse P. USA · Pugh, Shed USA
Godwin, Erb USA · Wilson, Oscar E. USA
World War II
(List of WWII Veterans)
Weeks, Roy USA · Edge, W. A. USAF
Day, Lamon USA
(List of Vietnam Veterans)
All Other Conflicts
(List of All
All Other Conflicts
(List of All Other Conflicts Veterans-Continued)
Erected 2003 by Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial Committee.
Topics. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: War, Korean • War, Vietnam • War, World I • War, World II.
Location. 30° 45.633′ N, 86° 34.305′ W. Marker is in Crestview, Florida, in Okaloosa County. Memorial is at the intersection of Courthouse Terrace and Main Street, on the right when traveling south on Courthouse Terrace. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 115 Courthouse Terrace, Crestview FL 32536, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Okaloosa County (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Okaloosa County (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Concord Lodge No. 50 F & AMBush House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Crestview Lodge #364 F&AM PHA (approx. 0.7 miles away); Carver-Hill H.S. (approx. ¾ mile away); Old Bethel Cemetery (approx. 2.9 miles away); Florida Honors and Remembers our POW’s and MIA’s (approx. 4.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Crestview.
Regarding Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial.
Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial - How it all began: (a snapshot in time)
The idea of a memorial to honor service people killed on active duty who were from Okaloosa County or who had gone through training at Eglin, Hurlburt or Duke Field originated with George H. Whitehurst, longtime Mayor of Crestview.
Early in 2000 George called his longtime
The Celebration 2000 committee, made up of a cross-section of the county, was formed to work together to put on the end-of-the-century event. The committee had some money left in their account; and they voted to give that money to the Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial (O.C.V.M.).
In March 2001 the newly formed O.C.V.M. Committee, composed of 20 people — many mayors, city council persons, chamber of commerce members, OWCC representatives, military affairs officers and retired educators — met to discuss the estimated costs for the project. It was divided into two phases. Phase I, with an estimated cost of $75,000, would
The O.C.V.M. filed papers with the Florida Secretary of State to be named a Florida not-for-profit corporation. They applied to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for permission to solicit contributions. They obtained a Federal Employee Identification Number (although there would be no paid employees). Finally, a 501-C-3 status was applied for with the Internal Revenue Service, and was received 28 days after — in “record short time.” On July 6, 2001, the committee had jumped through all the necessary hoops, and they were ready to start fundraising.
Over the next several months the committee met to discuss progress and expand ideas. Meetings were held in Cinco Bayou, Crestview and Fort Walton Beach about every two months. Whitehurst, the president and founder, met with each city council in the county; the Okaloosa School District; the County Commission; and numerous companies in the endeavor to raise funds. The concept of the memorial park was well-received everywhere it was introduced.
Committee members went to festivals, fairs and any other type of event where there were people to see the memorial drawings. Donations were taken from Laurel Hill to Destin, and from Tallahassee to Pensacola.
On June 28, 2002, the memorial arrived, along with a huge crane to set it up. The black onyx for the memorial was mined in Africa and was shipped to Georgia in pieces that were as large as compact cars. The memorial is 10 feet tall, 22 feet long, weighs 28,000 pounds and has the names of about 200 service people killed on active duty. The design drawing was beautiful; but it could not capture how moving and lovely the finished memorial would be. In two days the memorial was up; then the brick pavers and fountain were installed. Next, the four flagpoles went up, and, finally, the eternal flame. Phase I was completed and paid for.
On October 25, 2002, the Amish Country Gazebo arrived on two 18-wheelers from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. From the feel of the smooth finish, to the blend of the natural colors and the way each piece fit together, it was obvious that the people who built it were true master craftsmen. Within a week the Gazebo was up and the brick pavers were in. Next came the lights, sound system and landscaping. Phase II was nearing completion, and it, too, was paid for.
In 18 months — six months before the two-year deadline — the O.C.V.M. had raised $149,234.80. And additional money was still coming in! The people of Okaloosa County demonstrated their commitment to this worthwhile memorial with great generosity.
In December 2002 dates and plans for the dedication were formulated, and a date was chosen: Saturday, March 22, 2003, at 10:00 a.m. It will be one of the best days in Okaloosa County’s history.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 31, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 422 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 30, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.