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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Veteran Memorial seeking donations

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Doris Brown keeps the grounds at Augusta Park in Thayer. She is also working with the Charles Burkett American Legion Post 344 to erect a veterans memorial across from the park. Photo by Jan Thompson
JTHAYER -- The Thayer City Council has agreed to allow the Charles Burkett American Legion Post 344 to erect a veterans memorial across from Augusta Park in Thayer.

Doris Brown, a Thayer resident takes care of the flowers and trees planted at Augusta Park and was asked by a Legion member to represent them at the council meeting to ask permission for the project.

"We have started a fund and currently have around $1,500 in the fund. My niece, Melba Armstead, formally of Mammoth Spring, is now a Navy nurse and is stationed in Germany. She donated the first $500 toward the project," Brown said.

She said Augusta Park is actually turning into a memorial garden. "Everything in the park has been donated in the memory of moms, dads, husbands and wives. Tommy Forshler was the first to donate a plant here and he has now passed away," she said.

According to Brown, Legion officials are looking at different monuments and are deciding what type they would like to go across from the park.

Doyle Fink serves as adjutant for the Legion. He served in the U.S. Army for four years. "The Thayer Area Veterans Memorial will be a tribute to the men and women who have served our nation through their military service. In times of war and in times of peace, throughout the history of our nation, and in every branch of the service, our friends, neighbors and our loved ones have answered the call. We need to honor our heroes," he said.

The American Legion is a not-for-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Donations can be sent to Doyle Fink, at Route 3, Box 3369, Thayer, MO, 65791.

"Thayer is one of the few communities around anywhere that does not have some type of veterans memorial," Fink said.

He said the Legion was looking into purchasing something that is similar to the memorial for the firemen at the fire station. He said he would also like to see a flag pole and light located near the memorial.

The Charles Burkett American Legion Post is named after a local man, Charles Burkett who was killed in action while in the Marines fighting in World War I.

His parents were Daniel Clint and Mary Burkett, prominent farmers in the Thayer area. A message was sent to his parents that the young soldier, who was only 21, was missing in action July, 1918.

In the Jan. 3, 1919, edition of the Thayer News, the paper reported that Burkett was killed in action Nov. 4, 1918.

The news article said he was first reported lost in a wreck of the troop-ship Tuscania by German mines off the coast of Ireland but later it was learned he was among the rescued. Next, he was reported missing in action and turned up in a German prison camp from which he escaped and returned to his command.

The last news came to his parents that he was killed in action Nov. 4 only a week before the end of the war.

"That's only one of the many local people who have made the supreme sacrifice for our country. Those that died need to be honored and those that served need to be honored," Fink said.

He said anyone seeking more information about the project or who would like to make a donation, can call him at 417-264-2762.

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