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Lakewood Veteran’s Memorial has space

Approximately 170 engraved bricks remain to be purchased to complete the Lakewood Veteran’s Memorial. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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This Veterans Day marks another anniversary of the end of the Great War, or World War I, a century ago. Hostilities on the Western Front ceased on at the 11th hour of the 11th day, 1918.

On this day this year, Sunday, Nov. 11, Americans will pause to honor those men and women who have served in the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.

One way to remember and honor someone who has served can be done through the purchase of an engraved commemorative brick.

"To my neighbors and fellow service veterans, go visit the Lakewood Veteran's Memorial," neatly wrote retired Air Force Maj. Tom Slee on lined paper.

Dedicated in 2003, the memorial is located at 6000 Main St. SW directly in front of Lakewood City Hall. Retired Lt. Gen. William Harrison, former I Corps commander and Lakewood's first mayor, promoted the idea of beautifying City Hall with a memorial to veterans because the municipality is a military community surrounded by all five services, retired, active-duty, Guard and Reserve.

"Take your children and explain to them about the different wars and how others have told the story of their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts and grandparents' service to the country," continued Slee.

The inscription on the memorial reads as follows:

In honor of the men and women who served in the armed forces of the United States of America. They served, and many sacrificed their lives, not only to preserve the freedoms which we enjoy today, but to bring freedom to people and nations throughout the world.

The history behind the inscription begins with the installation of over 700 engraved, commemorative bricks which flank the metal sculptors, symbolizing the worldwide service of all five branches of service.

A committee comprised of city volunteers and veterans from all five services selected metal sculptor Jim Matter's submission to construct the memorial. It was dedicated on Memorial Day 2002; approximately 2,000 people attended; the keynote speaker was the late Gen. John Shalikashvili.

There remains room, however, to add to this story of honor, and Slee is issuing an invitation.

"To complete the project," he continued, the city is asking the community to purchase a brick and dedicate it to someone or to some unit which has served or defended our democracy."

At present, about 170 bricks remain available for purchase; the price for each engraved brick is $50.

"The honoree can be from anywhere. Several bricks now also honor a family member who stayed home to support and take care of things while the servicemember was deployed," Slee stated.

"I invite everyone to consider purchasing a commemorative brick," Slee concluded.

For information on purchasing an engraved commemorative brick, call the city at 253.589.2489; email, or visit for a form.

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