The most recent flagpole was erected behind two Oklahoma red granite monoliths, etched with the names of 144 honored or memorialized veterans and the branches of service.
The Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, a leading insurance and investment company that is owned by its members, was established in 1891 in Omaha, Neb. The society maintains a large fraternal organization of which Lodge 0111 of Altus is a member.
According to Jim Molledahl of Altus Lodge 0111, “We give flags and flagpoles all over the country and tell people about the history of our country; we also do history programs at the public schools.”
Donors to the Centennial Grove Honoring Military Veterans project honored and memorialized the veterans by funding the planting of trees by the city Parks Department on both sides of Veterans Drive from Broadway to Tamarack Road and along the Falcon Road main entrance to Altus Air Force Base. The new trees not only beautified the city and the entrance to the base—according to the Altus Comprehensive Plan 2004-2024--but also provided an opportunity for citizens to honor America's veterans from across the nation that served in all branches of the military in all American wars.
Henry Hartsell, Veterans Grove project co-chairman, gathered the veterans’ biographical information and photographs from the donors to publish a book. The book contains the names of all donors and honored veterans and biographies of most of the veterans.
“The book is finished and 100 copies are being published by Altus Printing Company,” Hartsell said. “Within the next week, a few copies will be on display at Altus City Hall. People wanting to buy copies may come by City Hall and choose from several types of soft covers or a hard-bound cover.
“The veterans, especially those that gave the ultimate sacrifice, will be permanently remembered for their major sacrifices during the nation’s times of war.”