GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A new monument honoring local heroes was unveiled Monday morning in Clay County.
The new statue, named the TAPS Monument, honors military members of today and all the way back to the Civil War.
The new statue includes 62 names, with four more still to be added, but it has much more meaning. The memorial has been in the works for years -- a permanent place to honor veterans killed during the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War and the Global War on Terror.
"For this (being a) very, very hot day, I have chill bumps," said Vivian McGee, who attended Monday's dedication ceremony. "It's awesome."
John McGee has heard only stories of his uncle who died in World War II -- tales of his heroism, being shot in a plane over Europe. While holding his uncle's Purple Heart, McGee said, knowing his uncle's name will be forever etched in the memorial is something special.
"I think it's great," McGee said. "I'd like to know more about World War I, even the Civil War. I think it would be good to have a book where we could read about everything that we could find out about all of them."
The monument is three rifles -- representing World War I, World War II and the modern era -- all pointing downward atop a triangle base representing the folded American flag. A Civil War bugle also sits on the base. Atop the rifles, there is a helmet forever protecting the fallen troops.
For anyone who would like to check out the new TAPS Monument in person, it's right outside the old courthouse on Walnut Street in Green Cove Springs.