History and Symbolism
As you walk through the "Freedom is Not Free" archway of the Johnson City-Washington County Veterans Memorial, you are entering a passage of remembrance and tribute to all veterans who have honorably served in the Armed Forces of the United States since World War I. Dedicated on 11-11-11 at 11 am, the Memorial reflects the vision of its founder, the late Bob Sobol and other Veterans as well as local business, civic and government leaders who established the Johnson City-Washington County Veterans' Memorial Foundation, the advocate and governing body for the stewardship of the Memorial. Its members process the applications for inscriptions as well as host Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies at the site. The city of Johnson City set aside the space for the Memorial and has committed to the maintenance and protection of the site. The Veterans' Memorial is a living tribute that honors the past, present and future service and sacrifice of the men and women who keep us free. Its location so near the Mountain Home Military Cemetery helps to reflect the cost of freedom.
The rose-red granite panels contain the names of those killed in action (KIA); missing in action (MIA) and prisoners of war (POW). These brave few gave their all for our beloved America. The concentric rows of black granite are inscribed with the names of those who were fortunate enough to serve and return to their families. More than just names on these walls, their contributions of courage and dedication have ensured that our treasured republic continues to thrive. It's reassuring to know that Architect Frank Knisley has designed ample expansion plans to accommodate inscriptions in the 21st century and beyond.