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The original artist's rendering of the McLendon-Chisholm Veterans Memorial, and examples of what purchased bricks would look like.

The City of McLendon-Chisholm, in conjunction with the Rockwall Terry Fisher American Legion Post 117, is gearing up for a brick drive to fund the maintenance of the city’s veteran’s memorial and to fund the commemoration of veterans buried in the aged Chisholm Cemetery, including those from World War I and the War of 1812.

The memorial was funded by the Daughters of the American Revolution and installed last May. Former Mayor Robert Steinhagen had the idea to hold a brick campaign to pave the area around the memorial, which was originally planned for a tree, ostensibly to integrate the memorial into the landscape of the McLendon-Chisholm City Hall on FM 550.

“The original plan was to sell bricks for $150 each,” said Mark Kipphut, Commander of the Legion post, resident of McLendon-Chisholm and husband of City Councilwoman Lorna Kipphut. “That just didn’t work for the community, so it never really got the results the city wanted.”

The revitalization of the brick campaign will include a significantly reduced price of engraved, dedicated bricks – approximately $30 each – and a goal of 100 bricks by November, and eventually a completed area of 1,000 bricks.

“The American Legion already held a fundraiser with 15 donors giving about $5,000 to fund the installation and infrastructure of the area,” Kipphut said. “Every $30 brick sold will go toward purchasing and engraving the brick, the long-term maintenance of the memorial and the paved area and creating pavestones to honor some of McLendon-Chisholm’s veterans of wars throughout our history.”

According to Kipphut, Chisholm Cemetery, formally established in 1871, is the resting place for veterans of such storied conflicts as the War of 1812, World War I and more. The first such deceased veteran who will be honored with a brick at the memorial is Homer O’Donnell, whio served in World War I.

“The idea is for our community and the Rockwall County community to buy bricks and have them engraved in honor of their veteran family members,” he added. “In this way, the monument becomes a living monument that changes over time.”

Additionally, the Legion will be installing pavestones commemorating the 14 wars and conflicts in which the United States has been involved.

This is hardly the first such project the Legion post has contributed to; in the past several years, they’ve helped provide flagpoles at the County Library and features of the Rockwall County Veterans Memorial, situated on the grounds of the County Courthouse on Yellowjacket Lane.

“We hope to get 100 bricks engraved and installed by Veterans Day this November, for a ceremony and commemoration then,” Kipphut said.

The deadline to purchase a brick and have it installed by Veterans Day is Sept. 13. For more information on how to purchase a brick honoring a veteran at the McLendon-Chisholm Veterans Memorial, visit www.McLendon-Chisholm.com.