LAMAR, Mo. - Piles of dirt, bricks and twisted metal.
All that's left of the Barton County Memorial Hospital in Lamar.
It was built in 1948, then later was abandoned in 2007 when a new hospital was built on the outskirts of town.
It also served as a memorial for 69 Barton county men who died in World War Two.
For many like Jack Dimond, a Vietnam war veteran who lost friends in combat, it's sad to see it go.
"To me, this was always the memorial. I wish they'd have kept this open and spent the money here," says Dimond.
And while Dimond is sad to see it leveled he understands why.
"Apparently they have people breaking in all the time. And one of the police officers told me he came up here one time and there was so much mold growing up on the walls that he almost refused to go in it," says Dimond.
Resident Joe Davis says the old is coming down... to make way for new.
"It's gonna be Barton County Memorial park," explains Davis.
The community has come together to work toward a new veterans memorial where the hospital sat, which will include benches, flags and a large monument in the middle of the new park.
Its purpose will be to carry on the memory of the 69 men who died in WWII.. but also to honor all the veterans in Barton County.
"The people of Barton County.. they built this place, so we'd like to keep that going. If we didn't step in and the commissioners didn't give us permission to do this, they could have easily sold it for lots for houses, and you would never know that this was a memorial," explains Davis.
Right now, it's something local veterans like Dimond are much more excited to step out of their front doors and see.
"To be able to look out here and see something like this memorial that's being proposed, I think it's wonderful," says Dimond.
Davis hopes demolition will be done by the end of the year, so they can start using the area as a park.
The project is being funded through donations.
If you want to donate, you can reach out to Davis on the memorial's Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/108gulf/
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- Copyright 2018 by KOAMNewsNow KOAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Copyright 2019 by KOAMNewsNow KOAM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.