MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The city of Jacksonville unveiled five service medallions dedicated to each service branch during a ceremony at the Freedom Fountain in Jacksonville, Nov. 7.
The Freedom Fountain, was originally dedicated Nov. 9, 2012. It features a center jet dedicated to the country’s freedom; three fountain heads surrounding it, each representing the three levels of government and 50 bubblers at the rim of the fountain representing the 50 states.
The service medallions, each weighing 175 pounds, signify the unwavering military support from the Onslow County community.
The medallions will be mounted on a brick wall behind the fountain to allow future installation of statues.
“Today there are 25 million Americans we call veterans,” said Retired Maj. Gen. Robert Dickerson, guest speaker. “One million have been killed. Americans should be proud of the kind of people we are. We are the defenders of others and the freedom we possess. Billions of humans around the globe today live free because Americans have fought and died.”
During the ceremony, the Onslow Civic Affairs Committee invited leaders from the community to combine waters brought from their respective homes to be poured into the fountain symbolizing that the community is one.
“The reality is we are surrounded by men and women who have gladly defended this nation,” said Dickerson. “We don’t always see the same selfless devotion to duty that is bigger than oneself across America, but we in Onslow County don’t have to search. In our community, we have young people that are willing to take up the fight.”
“This fountain and its surroundings have become the community’s visual, tangible and meaningful symbol of the military and their commitment,” said Don Herring, the chairman of Onslow Civic Affairs Committee. “It’s the symbol of those who know the price of freedom and those who pay the price daily.”
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