At their February 12 meeting, Tallahassee City Commissioners approved a financial contribution to a veterans memorial for the Tallahassee National Cemetery.
AMVETS Post 1776, a local chapter of AMVETS National, requested a one-time contribution of $7,500 to help fund the donation of a bell tower to the cemetery.
“The cost of engineering, manufacturing, delivery, and installation is approximately $100,000,” staff reports. “This includes a mandatory reserve fund of at least 10 percent set aside for perpetual maintenance of the bell tower/carillon.”
According to the meeting agenda, the Department of Veterans Affairs has approved a conceptual proposal for the donation, but the agreement requires 50 percent of the cost of the donation to come from contributions from local organizations.
The $7,500 contribution from the City would help fulfill the local match requirement. According to the meeting agenda, the funding is available in the Transfer to Other Government Agencies Fund.
According to the AMVETS National website, AMVETS has donated over 90 bell towers to National Cemeteries across the country through its Memorial Carillon programs.
“The history of the program dates back to 1948 when AMVETS sought an appropriate memorial to honor those who had given their lives in World War II,” as stated on the website.
According to the website, AMVETS chose a carillon as a “living memorial” with bells constantly tolling, inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s quote, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
The website also stated that “A carillon would not only affirm that the sacrifices made by those who died were not in vain, but would also serve to remind us of our legacy and of our debt to those who fought to preserve freedom throughout the world.”