Hurlock plans for Veterans Memorial Park

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Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
Members of the Hurlock Veterans Memorial Committee include (l to r) Paul Grahe, Mike Gates, Earl Richmond, Frank Fraley, councilman Earl Murphy who spearheaded the effort for the past 8 years; Fay Fraley, Scott Lawrence, and Jack Lewis.

HURLOCK — It has been eight years since Hurlock Councilman Earl Murphy first asked the town to consider building a memorial to honor veterans. At the April 27 council meeting he movingly expressed his joy to see that the Memorial Park is finally “coming to fruition.”

A committee, formed last year, investigated potential locations for the park and provided preliminary designs. The group includes: Paul Grahe, Mike Gates, Earl Richmond, Frank Fraley, Fay Fraley, Scott Lawrence, Jack Lewis, and Councilman Murphy.

On the 27th, Mr. Fraley explained that after much research, the group selected a site at the convergence of Mills and Gay Street. A solitary tree stands at the point that is usually decorated during the Christmas celebration and has been the site of small memorial observances.

Mr. Fraley showed the preliminary proposal to council members but noted, “Before we go too far, we have to survey it to make sure the design fits. We want to turn it into hallowed ground where nothing can be used on it but the memorial.” The memorial itself will be 12” above finished grade; the wall will be 6’ high; and, a concrete walkway will be built behind it to service the flags of each unit.

“Nothing can be used on it except as a memorial,” said Mr. Fraley. “I’m hoping eventually if we get this done, Hurlock can have its own Memorial Day service.” Councilman Murphy suggested that no booths be placed around the site during the fall festival. Mayor Joyce Spratt said that was not a problem since the vendors can be moved to Charles Street.
Councilman Charles Cephas motioned for the town to fund the survey passed unanimously. The point was moot after Jason Loar, engineer with Davis, Bowen, and Friedel, offered the company’s services to survey the plot for no charge.

Mr. Fraley said the second part of the plan is fundraising. To that end, he said, “If the town would consider creating a foundation we can find more money.” Fay Fraley said that as a 501C-3 a wide variety of supporters can make donations and earmark them for the park.
Mayor Spratt noted the town has some funds already donated for the project. Mr. Fraley said after we “get established and know where we’re going I’ll get some numbers together” so the fundraiser can begin with a specific goal, and suggested a “thermometer” to note progress. Town Attorney Robert Merriken will research procedures for creating the foundation.

The Hurlock Memorial Park will commemorate those who died or were injured in the Armed Services.

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Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
Hurlock council members reviewed a preliminary design for the town’s Veterans Memorial presented by Frank Fraley (r).

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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