Ashe County Veterans Memorial, Jefferson
This memorial area consists of two brick structures, two flower boxes, two benches and a
flagpole. The main brick structure is a wall about seven feet tall with a 13-foot center section
and 3-foot sides that angle outwards from the center section. On this wall facing the
courthouse are nine bronze plaque depicting combat scenes from American wars beginning
with the Revolution through the Persian Gulf War with room for additional plaques. Text on the
plaques gives an overview of each war and Ashe County’s role in the conflicts. The side facing
away from the courthouse bears the main legend for the memorial and the coat of arms for
each branch of the military including the Merchant Marines.
The second brick structure is about six feet high and four feet on each side. On the courthouse facing side is a POW/MIA plaque and on the side facing the larger wall is an Honor Roll plaque listing the county’s known dead. In the center of the memorial area is a 25-foot flagpole that flies the American and POW/MIA flags. Attached to the benches and planters are a total of six coats of arms for veterans’ organizations and their auxiliaries.
Images: Ashe County Memorial wall | Wall with plaques | American Auxiliary plaque | Disabled American Auxiliary plaque | Disabled American Veterans plaque | Ladies Auxiliary plaque | American Legion plaque | Ashe County Honor Roll plaque | POW and MIA plaque | Veterans of Foreign Wars plaque | Spanish American War and Persian Gulf Conflict plaques | Civil War and Vietnam War plaques | American Revolution and World War II plaques | War of 1812 and Korean War plaques | World War I plaque
Small structure Honor Roll Plaque: HONOR ROLL / THOSE WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE
/ FROM ASHE COUNTY NC / [Columns left to right, column one] REVOLUTIONARY WAR /
UNKNOWN / WAR OF 1812 / UNKNOWN / WAR BETWEEN THE STATES/CIVIL WAR / UNKNOWN
/ SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR / UNKNOWN / WORLD WAR I / [List of 22 names] / [Column two]
WORLD WAR II / [List of 38 names] / [Column three] WORLD WAR II (CONT.) / [List of 38 names]
/ [Column four] WORLD WAR II (CONT.) / [List of 12 names] / KOREAN WAR / [List of 4 names] /
VIETNAM WAR / [List of 10 names] / PERSIAN GULF WAR /
Small structure plaque: POW – MIA / YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN
Large wall facing Highway 221: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / ASHE COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA / “OUR COUNTRY CALLED OUR COUNTY ANSWERED”
Wall facing courthouse, plaques left to right, top then bottom.
Revolution Plaque: AMERICAN REVOLUTION / 1775-1783 / APPROXIMATELY 40 ASHE COUNTY PIONEERS FOUGHT IN THE REVOLUTIONAY WAR WITH GENERAL / GEORGE WASHINGTON’S FORCES, ALTHOUGHT SOME REMAINED LOYAL TO GREAT BRITAIN. ASHE COUNTY / VOLUNTEERS WERE AMONG THE GROUP OF OVER THE MOUNTAIN MEN WHO DEFEATED MAJOR PATRICK / FERGUSON AT KING’S MOUNTAIN ON OCTOBER 7, 1780 AND BY DOING SO, TURNED THE TIDE OF THE / GREAT WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE. ASHE COUNTY WAS FORMED IN 1799 AND NAMED AFTER THE / REVOLUTIONARY WAR PATRIOT AND LATER GOVERNOR OF NORTH CAROLINA, SAMUEL ASHE.
War of 1812 Plaque: WAR OF 1812 / 1812 – 1815 / EIGHTY-EIGHT ASHE COUNTY CITIZENS WERE AMONG THOSE WHO FOUGHT THE BRITISH IN THE / SECOND WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE. THESE MEN SERVED IN THE 1ST AND 2ND COMPANIES OF THE 5TH / NORTH CAROLINA MILITIA REGIMENT. A TOTAL OF 58 MEN ARE THOUGHT TO HAVE SERVED IN THE 1ST / COMPANY, BUT ONLY 30 MEN WERE FOUND TO HAVE SERVED IN THE 2ND COMPANY.
Civil War Plaque: WAR BETWEEN THE STATES/CIVIL WAR / 1861 – 1865 / FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR, ASHE COUNTY, AS THE REST OF THE STATE AND NATION, WAS / DIVIDED BETWEEN CONFEDERATE AND UNION LINES. BETWEEN APRIL AND AUGUST 1861, ASHE COUNTY / CONTRIBUTED FOUR FULL COMPANIES OF CONFEDERATE VOLUNTEERS TOTALING APPROXIMATELY 1200. OF / THOSE WHO VOLUNTEERED AT LEAST 49 DID NOT SURVIVE THE WAR, WITH 14 DEAD AT GETTYSBURG. LESS / THAN 100 LOCAL MEN JOINED FEDERAL FORCES. OVER A PERIOD OF FOUR YEARS, MANY MORE ASHE / COUNTY MEN LOST THEIR LIVES IN THIS AMERICAN WAR.
Spanish American War Plaque: SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR / 1898 / THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT DECLARED WAR ON THE UNITED STATES ON APRIL 24, 1898. THIS WAR, / ONE OF HISTORY’S SHORTEST, WAS OVER WITHIN SIX MONTHS. DURING THIS PERIOD OF TIME, ASHE / COUNTY WAS KNOWN TO HAVE THIRTEEN MEN TO SERVE DURING THIS WAR WITH SPAIN.
WWI Plaque: WORLD WAR I / 1914-1918 / THE “WAR TO END ALL WARS” BEGAN ON JUNE 28, 1914. THE UNITED STATES JOINED THE WAR IN / THE SPRING OF 1917. APPROXIMATELY 900 ASHE COUNTY MEN SERVED DURING THIS WAR. NEARLY 10 / MILLION DIED AS A RESULT OF THE GREAT WAR. OF THESE, 116,516 WERE U.S. SOLDIERS, AND OF THIS / NUMBER ASHE COUNTY LOST 22 BRAVE MEN.
WWII Plaque: WORLD II / 1939-1945 / GERMANY INVADED POLAND ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 BEGINNING WORLD WAR II. LATER, JAPAN / ATTACKED PEARL HARBOR ON DECEMBER 7, 1941, OFFICIALLY BRINGING THE UNITED STATES INTO / THE WAR THE FOLLOWING DAY. WWII WAS CREDITED AS THE COSTLIEST IN HISTORY. THE U.S. SUFFERED / 405,399 DEATHS. OF THE 2,440 ASHE COUNTY SERVICEMEN WHO FOUGHT, 88 LOST THEIR LIVES. / GERMANY SURRENDERED ON MAY 7, 1945 AND JAPAN ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1945.
Korea Plaque: KOREAN WAR / 1950-1953 / NORTH KOREAN FORCES CROSSED THE 35TH PARALLEL AND INVADED SOUTH KOREA ON JUNE 25, 1950 / IN AN ATTEMPT TO SPREAD COMMUNISM. ASHE COUNTY IS KNOWN TO HAVE 367 MEN THAT SERVED IN / THIS WAR EFFORT. DURING WHAT IS KNOWN AS “THE FORGOTTEN WAR,” THE UNITED STATES WOULD LOSE / 54,246 LIVES. ASHE COUNTY LOST 4 MEN DURING THIS WAR. MORE THAN 8,100 AMERICANS ARE STILL / LISTED AS MISSING IN ACTION FROM THIS CONFLICT.
Vietnam Plaque: VIETNAM WAR / 1964-1975 / THE VIETNAM WAR WAS THE LONGEST MILITARY CONFLICT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. / IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST SOCIALLY AND POLITICALLY DIVISIVE WARS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. THE / HOSTILITIES IN VIETNAM, LAOS AND CAMBODIA CLAIMED THE LIVES OF 58,226 AMERICANS. ASHE / COUNTY HAD 470 WHO SERVED IN THE JUGLES OF SOUTHEAST ASIA, 10 OF WHICH MADE THE SUPREME / SACRIFICE.
Persian Gulf Plaque: PERSIAN GULF / 1990-1991 / THE GULF WAR WAS AN ARMED CONFLICT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND A COALITION OF 32 / NATIONS AGAINST IRAQ. THE GROUND WAR BEGAN ON FEBRUARY 24, 1991 AND WAS OVER IN FOUR DAYS. / OF THE 89 SERVICEMEN FROM ASHE COUNTY, 68 WERE DEPLOYED WITH THE 1450TH TRANSPORTATION / COMPANY OF THE NORTH CAROLINA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD OF JEFFERSON AND SERVED IN SAUDI ARABIA / AND IRAQ. THIS UNIT SUPPLIED PETROLEUM, AMMUNITION, AND OTHER CLASSES OF SUPPLIES TO COMBAT / FORCES OF THE XVIII AIRBORNE CORP AND OF THE 24TH INFANTRY DIVISION. ASHE COUNTY SUFFERED / NO CASUALTIES DURING THIS WAR.
May 3, 2003
36.418920 , -81.459570 View in Geobrowse
Burchette, Linda. “Ashe Veterans’ Memorial Dedication Set for May 3,” Jefferson Post, (Jefferson, NC), April 18, 2003, 1A, 5A
Burchette, Linda. “Fallen Heroes Honored At Dedication,” Jefferson Post, (Jefferson, NC), April 25, 2003, 1, 5
Burchette, Linda. “Funds Pour In For Vets’ Memorial,” Jefferson Post, (Jefferson, NC), January 22, 2002
Burchette, Linda. “Remembering The Fallen Of Past Wars,” Jefferson Post, (Jefferson, NC), April 25, 2003, 1A, 5A
Bronze, brick, concrete
Ashe County Veteran’s Memorial Committee
A rainy Saturday afternoon on the courthouse lawn saw about 100 people gathered for dedication of the veteran’s memorial. Mark Mallette, chairman of the Veteran’s Memorial Committee, thanked all who had helped with the project. Representative Gene Wilson and Senator Virginia Foxx along with local politicians participated in the ceremony. The most moving comments of the day were by Bill Ballou, a World War Two prisoner of war. Held and tortured by the Germans he claimed no ill will as they “were just following orders, as was he.” Ballou brought tears as he described the daily ritual of stacking the bodies of fellow prisoners that had died overnight on wagons to be buried. A 21-gun salute, the playing of “Taps” and a benediction ended the ceremony.
The Veterans Memorial is located in front of the Ashe County courthouse at 150 Government Circle in Jefferson, NC, off of Highway 221. The Ashe County Honor Roll to WWI, WWII and Prior Wars is located in front of the historic 1904 Ashe County courthouse on the other side of Highway 221, at 301 E. Main St. The historic courthouse serves now as the Museum of Ashe County History.
The memorial stands on a paved area, surrounded by lawn and shrubs.