The Catawba Valley Ruritan Club held a dedication ceremony for their newly established Military Honor Garden on Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Catawba Community Center.
The garden was an inspiration from a very proud Navy veteran, Jim Hottel. Hottel lived in the Catawba area and mentioned to Ruritan President Pam Garman, “we need something around here to recognize our military folks.” The idea was pitched to the Ruritan board members and club members, and it was unanimously agreed that this would be a great idea and project. Plans for the garden began in late spring 2023. Hottel was not able to see the final project as he passed away in June 2023.
On the day of dedication, approximately 100 individuals turned out as we honored the active military and veterans that were present. Family members of the military that were deceased were also recognized with a moment of silence. Delegate-elect Chris Obenshain gave a speech which included his personal dedication and service to the military including being in the midst of September 11, 2001.
Stories were shared among the veterans and a lite reception was held afterwards. “We appreciate Mr. Hottel’s inspiration for the garden and appreciate everyone’s financial support to make this project a success in recognizing our Military,” Garman said.
A monument will be placed in spring 2024 with the following verse:
“This garden is dedicated to the Honor and Memory of the men and women of this community who proudly served their country. We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.”
-The Salem Times-Register