As they tread carefully over the walkway Saturday, veterans pointed with their toes to the names below — each brick representing a life marked by service, each paver bonded to the next by shared sacrifice.
About 75 people gathered Saturday morning in the shadow of American Legion Post 28 in Duncan Park to dedicate a "walk of honor" that organizers hope will serve as a place for future generations to quietly reflect on the challenges faced and overcome by Spartanburg County's veterans.
Charles Dickson fought with the 82nd Airborne during World War II, surviving the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. Years later in Spartanburg, he met the-late Carl Dellinger, a veteran of the Pacific Theater, and the two became friends for decades, cooking together in church. Now, the men's names and their service are etched on adjacent bricks.
Wallace Storey flew bomber missions with the Eighth Air Force during WWII. His name, rank and decades of service to this country are carved into a paver, as well. The walkway makes veterans feel good, as though people remember the sacrifices made by so many families, he said.
"They did a very good job," Storey said. "They put a lot of information on a very small spot."Telling a story about each veteran was the point — more than just a name.
As of Saturday, the walk included 344 bricks in the 32-foot pathway, said retired Brig. Gen. Ed Hall, past commander of the post. Plans are to keep selling the commemorative bricks and to add more pathways.
"Now, there are 23,000 veterans in Spartanburg County, so we've got room to expand, and we're going to be in touch with them," Hall said.
Organizers envision the walk of honor as a place to hold events celebrating veterans, just as the nearby memorial in Duncan Park hosts Memorial Day services.
Small bricks can be purchased for $50, while larger bricks cost $75. The American Legion Post 28 can be reached at 864-253-0376.