Donald Lamar asked Stafford County if his son, Marine Sgt. Donald Lamar, II, a Stafford High School graduate who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, could be recognized for his service. Lamar, age 23, left behind a wife, Stephanie, and a daughter, Madison. Lamar’s request inspired Stafford’s Board of Supervisors to appoint an Armed Services Memorial Commission to create a memorial to honor the fallen, those who have served and those who are currently serving.
A commission of three citizens was selected to plan the memorial: Lieutenant General Ron Christmas, a retired Marine and founder of the National Museum of the Marine Corps; Mark Dudenhefer, also a retired Marine; and Gary Snellings, an Air Force veteran.
The commission decided to hold a memorial design competition among Stafford’s high school students as a way to involve the future of Stafford County in its past. Five designs were selected to serve as the inspiration and to be included in the final design for the memorial.
Kline Memorials was selected to design the memorial, which will be located to the rear of the Stafford County Government Center and Stafford Courthouse. The memorial and plaza will provide a stand-alone location to hold ceremonies, special events, and be a quiet spot for contemplation. It will be a lasting tribute in a location that will be easily accessible to citizens and visitors for years to come, on a scale the County has not undertaken before.
One of the key features of the memorial will be bricks that line the edges of the walkways. Citizens may buy bricks to honor their family or friends who served or are serving in the armed services. Bricks may be purchased at the Stafford County Treasurer’s Office or through the mail, or online.
A working group of citizen volunteers has been established to raise funds to build the memorial which has an estimated cost of $675,000. The Stafford County Board of Supervisors voted to appropriate $225,000 towards that amount.
The working group will be kicking off their fundraising in May 2016, reaching out to businesses, individuals and community leaders to help support the memorial.
Members of the working group include: Chairman Daniel Chichester; Vice Chairman Mark Osborn; Billy Shelton; Edward Wallace; Elizabeth Davis; Sue Henderson; Frank White; former Sheriff Charlie Jett; James Brown and John Cox.
For more information or to purchase bricks online, please visit StaffordArmedServicesMemorial.weebly.com.