The members of the committee for the Orange County Veterans Memorial believe we need to outline our basic philosophies as we start this endeavor to collect just one dollar from each citizen in Orange, so we can build the Orange Veterans Memorial to honor those sons and daughters of Orange who died while defending our country and our liberties.
First of all, we want this memorial to be inclusive. As mentioned at the Memorial Day ceremony, we want your ideas and suggestions. You do not need to be a Veteran, or a member of a Veteran’s organization to participate. All you need is a desire to help and let us know that. Give us an opportunity to find a way to get you involved. In Orange we have a very diverse population, let the building of this memorial help bring us together.
While there has been no final determination if the individual names of the fallen will be incorporated in the final design of the memorial, we, the members of the committee, believe that if that is done, the names need to be as inclusive as possible. That is, we believe if the Service member was born in Orange or was calling Orange home (even if they weren’t born here) when they entered the Service, that’s good enough for us. Our initial documentation source to determine the validity of the Service member’s home of record and death will be the Library of Virginia’s Database of Virginia Military Dead. If questions arise, we will search the source documents for further clarification. If the source documents do not provide the needed clarification, we will explore other sources of information until any and all questions are resolved. Since the Daughters of the American Revolution maintain a memorial by the Courthouse for the honor and memory of the fallen from that war, and the large statute (also by the Courthouse) and numerous organizations honor the Civil War dead, we did not intend the memorial to incorporate those wars. Please let us know if we are wrong. However, because of Orange’s long history, if we focus on only the post Civil War era, we will exclude five men from Orange who died during the War of 1812. Certainly their deaths are as important as any death in the 20th or 21st century. These are questions we would like your input in order to make a decision. These are all issues which will need to be resolved before we can build.
In the coming weeks and months, since we have been told the names we currently have are not completely accurate (either listed and shouldn’t be, or aren’t listed and should be), our goal is to publish all the names we do have in the local publications. If you have information, one way or
another regarding a deceased Orange County Service member, please come forward to correct the record and make it straight.
Donations, comments and suggestions can be mailed to P.O. Box 188, Orange, VA 22960. Or they also can be left at any of the Veteran’s organizations and they will be forwarded by the Memorial representative as each organization has one now. For those who are tech-savvy, you can send comments and suggestions to our e-mail address, email@example.com, or to our Facebook page, Orange Veterans Memorial, for comments and suggestions. And, we also have a website, www.orangeveteransmemorial.org.
Lastly, our intent to have this memorial built is not to open old wounds or tear off scabs. Our intent is to build a monument to honor the sacrifice of our fallen comrades, not harm anyone. If the building of the monument does harm someone, we apologize up front. As mentioned at the Memorial Day ceremony, we want this memorial to be a dedication to your sons or daughters (or perhaps today they are a brother or sister, aunt or uncle, grandmother or grandfather). There are some long family lineages in Orange County. We are hoping that this provides an opportunity for those families to honor their members of (perhaps) another generation with a story or memory when their turn to.
We would like to close by giving our deep appreciation for the donations made at the Memorial Day ceremony for the Orange Veterans Memorial. Thank you!!
Orange County Veterans Memorial Committee