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Patriot Monument Set For Courthouse Square Unveiling

© Leesburg Today - 11/03/2015

More than a decade of planning and fundraising will culminate in a special Veterans Day ceremony next Wednesday when a monument commemorating Loudoun's contributions during the Revolutionary War will be unveiled at the county courthouse.

For members of the Loudoun Revolutionary War Memorial Committee for the Patriot Project and its supporters, the erection of Warrenton sculptor Jay Hall Carpenter's statue in approximately the same spot where the Declaration of Independence was read to the populace in 1776 will be a lump in the throat moment.

The noontime ceremony will honor the dead of America's first war.

Carpenter's evocative bronze statue depicts a farmer/militia member about to set off to war, flanked by his apprehensive yet calm wife and his half fearful and half proud young son. It is designed to honor the 1,746 Loudoun militiamen who joined the fight for independence from Great Britain and to bring the human emotion of that moment of 239 years ago home to modern-day residents.

The unveiling of the statue marks the end of a long journey-one begun informally 15 years ago by the late Larry Moisson, who conceived of the idea after realizing from the local Daughters of the American Revolution branch that there was no monument at the courthouse at which to lay a wreath in memory of those who served in the Revolutionary War. In 2004, the Leesburg Town Council and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors each adopted resolutions supporting what became known as the Patriot Project.

Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens took the lead on the fundraising effort three years ago. Clemens and his committee worked to raise almost $421,000, garnering support from a wide range of individuals and businesses.

From the beginning, a number of Daughters of the American Revolution regents supported the project-including Moisson's wife Jackie Moisson, Terri Coleman, Gail Adams, Judith Lindsay, Victoria Daly, Joan Whitener and Teresa McCarthy. Today, seven DAR members serve on the Patriot Project committee, headed by President Jim Christian.

It was McCarthy, when she became regent in 2010, who became the first head of the organization to put the DAR's money to work, eventually presenting a check for $1,000 to the project.

""Getting this statue made, paid for and up has been a labor of love for our committee, and gratitude for the nearly 400 people or organizations who contributed to this success,"" she said this week. Clemens also was invigorated by the endeavor.

""We're prosperous today because of those families and veterans,"" he said as he neared the end of the fundraising. He was helped by many-including banker Jim Bowman, Christian, former Del. Joe T. May, Richard Norman, Wynne Saffer and Donald Cooper.

Donors large or small all seemed to have been struck by the power and simplicity of the statue, Clemens said. And, for Clemens and the Patriot Project Committee, it is important that all veterans, including those of the Revolutionary War, their families and their modern-day descendants, for the first time will be included in the traditional Veterans Day observance next Wednesday.

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