SERVICE that ROARS Thank You, Veterans of Many Wars Photo by Jake Morgan Visitors to the veterans’ memorial in Toledo, Washington, view the names of those who’ve served their country. Brick by brick, Lions in Toledo, Washington, are showing their appreciation for the military service of men and women who have served their country. Jake Morgan, who joined the club in 2011 and whose father, Mike, is president, says, “I see a lot of familiar names when I visit our veterans’ wall, including three Morgan family members who served in World War II. “When I see the more than 300 names on our wall of honor, it reminds me that every veteran who served our coun-try is important, just as any brick wall is more than the sum of its bricks.” Lions are passionate about honoring those who’ve served. “We Lions feel that our veterans need more praise and feeling of reconnection,” points out Bob Schmid, who served in the Navy in the 1950s. He and his brother Ron, of Cali-fornia, both have purchased engraved bricks. Lions built the freestanding wall without the help of state, federal or grant funds. They cut and sold firewood, manned fireworks stands, held a three-day Cheese Days fes-tival, and are still selling bricks at $100 each. Lion Kendall Richardson volunteered his time and construction company to help build the wall and landscape its surrounding area. “This wall will withstand anything, including high flood wa-ters,” Richardson says. It’s built to last, and the reinforced 14 LION MAY 2014 foundation wall will support more weight as additional bricks are added. The names of living or deceased honorees, dates of service and insignias of the appropriate military branches in which each served are laser-inscribed on each medium-red brick. The names cover a lot of history and many conflicts. A soldier named Norman Burbee is recognized for fighting in the Washington Indian Uprising of 1855. One honoree is a Civil War Union soldier named Brigham Buswell. Another is a local man who disappeared in Laos in 1968. “I’ve found that the reaction of people seeing their own names or the names of loved ones is somber. Some place their hands on the brick, some stare and some walk around reading the writing on the bricks, enjoying the history that comes with them,” Schmid points out. While the wall has room for 2,000 bricks eventually, so far there are only a few hundred in place. The entire wall cost approximately $20,000 to build in the city’s centrally located Kemp Olson Memorial Park. Schmid says Lions do most of the maintenance and landscaping work themselves, so it’s an ongoing project. “The Toledo Lions love building projects,” adds Morgan. “It’s our way of saying thank-you to all vet-erans, past and present.” For further information, visit www.toledolionsclub.org/veteranswall.html.