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Veterans Mural Unveiling Is Saturday, November 9



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“It’s up,” said Laurie McCollum, who has been working for months to coordinate a new veteran’s mural by artist David Merrill. And, “it’s amazing,” she said. The mural is now covered and hanging in the Newtown Municipal Center, awaiting its unveiling at a small ceremony on November 9 at 11 am.

Since April 2012 Mr Merrill has designed and painted the mural, which contains the names of Newtown’s men and women who have served in the Armed Forces since 1971. An earlier remembrance for those who served prior to 1971 is in Edmond Town Hall. Looking forward to the unveiling and the culmination of  much hard work, she said, “I can’t believe it’s almost over. We have put so much into this.”

Following the unveiling, light refreshments will be served at the VFW Post 308 on Freedom Defenders Way. Welcomed to the ceremony are merchants who made donations for fundraisers, residents who have donated generously, and veterans and residents, she said.

Last April, Ms McCollum and Project Newtown Troops and Veterans committee members had commissioned Mr Merrill to create the artworkLaurieM30@sbcglobal.net.. Residents interested in adding a veteran’s name to the project or making a contribution can send an e-mail to Ms McCollum at

Spearheading volunteer and fundraising efforts to support the veterans mural project, resident Laurie McCollum, right, stands with artist David Merrill as he makes the final touches and adjustments to the mural now installed at Newtown Municipal Center and awaiting its unveiling. Ms McCollum also keeps a list of veterans names on hand to be sure they have been included in the artwork, and also intends to provide Mr Merrill with additional names for veterans who have not yet been included.
With more than 340 names that add up to 6,091 letters individually painted and detailed by hand, artist David Merrill makes the final touches on the floor-to-ceiling mural installed at Newtown Municipal Center. He has been working on the mural at his home for months and looks forward to its unveiling Saturday. As he worked on the piece this week, he noted that its fit in the building’s main hallway with details including an eagle flying above the American flag, please him. He wanted to show the symbols of liberty and recognize branches of the armed forces in his work. “In my mind’s eye it is what I envisioned,” he said. Helping install the mural was veteran (also named on the mural) Gerald Lareau, USMC, and a long-time friend.
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