In the summer of 1968, Joe Carroll, V.F.W. member and then Osceola County Civil Defense Director; headed up a War Memorial Committee. Fundraising efforts were supported by the V.F.W., American Legion Posts, Daughters of American Veterans, the City of Kissimmee and other local veterans groups. The site chosen was a thirty-square-foot plot of ground owned by the Makinson-Carson Post 10, American Legion, on the Kissimmee lakefront.
Six designs were submitted. The V.F.W. design was chosen; a ten-feet-tall marble replica of the Washington Monument obelisk, which would stand on a two-tiered concrete base. Set on the second base would be a plaque with the inscription “In memory to our war dead”. Cost of the monument would be approximately $2,500; the Kissimmee City Commission voted to budget $800 to aid in its construction.
November 11, Veterans Day of that year; was set as the completion date. But there were some delays. It wasn’t until 1987 that the names of Osceola County veterans who died in war-related incidents would be inscribed on the monument. Included were thirty-eight names from World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War service.
Visit the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum exhibit "Suited for Service" featuring uniforms and military items from the Civil War through World War II.
Sources: “Kissimmee Gazette” October and November 1968 issues; “Orlando Sentinel” 1968 and 1991 issues
Photo: Anza Bast