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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    McDowell County Veterans Memorial, Marion

  • Type

    War Memorial

  • Subjects

    World War I

    World War II

    Global War on Terrorism

    Vietnam War, 1960-1975

    Korean War, 1950-1953

    Civil War, 1861-1865

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    The memorial to veterans of McDowell County consists of five upright granite panels on a double base. The center panel is black granite and the rest is of gray granite. All elements are smooth finished except the lower base which has rough-hewn edges. Incised and colored in white at the top of the center panel is the coat of arms of the Department of Defense. Beneath is the primary inscription outlined in white on three sides and a wreath with ribbon along the bottom. The panels to either side of the center panel are slightly taller. Incised near the top of each is a spread wing American eagle holding arrows in its talons. At the bottom of the left panel are logos to the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. At the bottom of the right panel are logos to Disabled American Veterans and American Ex-Prisoners of War. The panels on each flank are one-half the height of the center panel. The left flanking panel is unadorned. The right flanking panel has an incised Southern Cross of Honor between the dates 1861 and 1865. These two flanking panels were not present when the memorial was dedicated in 1986. The memorial was also modified in other ways, most likely when the additional panels were added. A photo from 1989 shows the two original grey panel having rounded edges which have been cut away. Each of the original panels was also topped with a granite cap. The memorial base was also extended to accommodate the added panels.

    The memorial stands at the edge of a large circular concrete pad facing a Charters of Freedom Memorial with a flagpole in the center. This concrete pad was poured in 2019 to accommodate the Charters of Freedom memorial which required the Veterans Memorial and flagpole to be re-positioned on the site. The flagpole had been dedicated in 1967 to a military veteran, M/Sgt. Shufford Rowe.

    Images: Inscription on the center panel | Center and two left panels | Center and two right panels

  • Inscription


    Panel, far left: IRAQI FREEDOM / & / MIDEAST CONFLICT / [1 name]

    Panel, center left: WORLD WAR I / [13 names] / KOREAN WAR / [7 names] / VIETNAM WAR/ [20 names]

    Panel, far right: MCDOWEL COUNTY / CONFEDERATE / VETERANS / 1861 1865 / LEST WE FORGET

    Panel, center right: WORLD WAR II / [97 names in two columns]

  • Custodian

    McDowell County

  • Dedication Date

    November 11, 1986

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.684090 , -82.008360 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Daniel, Bobby. “McDowell County Courthouse in Marion, North Carolina,”, October 24, 2015 (accessed May 15, 2022) Link

      “Marion Memorial,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), July 5, 1967

      “McDowell County Courthouse,” The Historical Marker Database,, (accessed May 15, 2022 Link

      “Veterans Remembered,” Asheville Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC), November 5, 1989

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Grey granite, black marble

  • Location

    The Veterans Memorial is located in front of the McDowell County Courthouse, 21 S. Main St, Marion NC, 28752. It stands to the right of the main walkway into the courthouse. It is facing a Charters of Freedom memorial, one of several Charters of Freedom memorials installed across the state on grounds of county courthouses.

  • Landscape

    Memorials stand on a well-maintained courthouse lawn with several large shady trees behind them.

  • Relocated


  • Former Locations

    The memorial was re-positioned in 2019 when another memorial was placed on the courthouse grounds. It first stood a little to the right of its present location and faced the street.

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