20th Century Veterans Memorial hopes to implement telephone directory

North Platte, Neb. (KNOP) - 20th Century Veterans Memorial hope to implement telephone directory, Board Member Wilma Salisbury is confident that it will happen. She says since starting in 1998, raising money for the memorial, that Lincoln County and North Platte residents have been very supportive.

Salisbury says that residents in the area treat Veterans very well. It was 2003 by the time that concrete and the first building were on the current site, and the first bricks were installed at the south end of the memorial.

"We've been working to complete it. There are 6500 bricks," she said. And she explained that they had to be removed and replaced recently due to water damage. "There is room for 8000 bricks. We will be placing 50 more before Memorial Day this year."

And with so many bricks, it is necessary to have a directory - or spend quite some time searching for a name. There is a directory now. It is located near the front of the memorial. People must look up names through the slightly foggy glass (due to the elements) to find names, which are in alphabetical order, by which the brick can then me located.

The new phone system will allow visitors to make a phone call to an "answering-type system," which will give a response directing the caller to the brick's location.

The system will cost $8000. Salisbury said two people have been working through the daunting task of typing all of the names, information, and brick locations. They want to have the information ready so that as soon as enough money has been raised; they can implement the system.

Salisbury explained that some money was received during "Giving Day" in North Platte, early May. She said that it is very nice that they have special days to draw attention to giving, and that the board greatly appreciates the donations.

But they are a long way from the $8000 needed.

Anyone can donate, and anyone can buy a brick for an honorably discharged veteran. It is not just a Nebraska memorial. Salisbury explained that a couple from Illinois, traveling through, purchased four bricks for their family veterans.

Bricks cost $150. Forms can be picked up at the memorial, retrieved online at 20thcvetsmemorial.com, or through the mail at P.O. Box 1393, North Platte, NE 69101. There is not an office, but there is a secretary for the board who answers phones and does paperwork. Salisbury was the secretary for 18 years.

She said that when placing bricks, they try to place family members together. One family has 15, and one has 11.

Donations can be placed through Mid Nebraska Community Foundation in North Platte or donors can call 308-532-6579. The board does not advertise, other than their signs at north, south, east and west entrances into North Platte. Salisbury says that many hear by word of mouth.

The memorial is on Google, Facebook, and linked to the Lincoln County Visitor's Bureau.