CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It started with a cannon.
Marmet resident Charlie Humphrey, a Korean War veteran, said longtime friend and fellow lover of history, Peggy Jacobs, approached him after a recent town council meeting to ask him about moving the town's cannon to another location.
The cannon, which was originally placed at the old grade school and later moved to a park, wasn't in the best shape.
Jacobs said the cannon was moved to Riverview Park where members of the American Legion kept the cannon up and maintained the area around it for a number of years. The cannon didn't belong to the Legion, it was loaned to the city in the 50's by the Army.
But Jacobs, 81, said many of the members have died.
"It was just sitting there," she said of the cannon. "It needed some paint and things and would be better seen by the public if we moved it. A lot of people didn't even know it was there."
She thought she'd found a good place for it.
"This lady came to me after the council meeting and asked would it be all right if we moved the cannon to the veterans' memorial at the recreation building," Humphrey said gesturing to Jacobs. "We wanted to do that, but there wasn't any room there."
They began looking for other places for the cannon, combing over pieces of property owned by the city. They spoke with Johnny Walker, another town resident and veteran, who helped find a tract of land in the curve near the intersection of W.Va. 61 and W.Va. 94.
The property is state-owned but they were permitted to use the land once they told the state what they planned to do with it.
The veterans hitched the disabled 105-millimeter gun to the back of an SUV and towed it up MacCorkle Avenue to its new location. Walker said NAPA parts store donated a few cans of paint to repaint the weapon a dark shade of olive drab green.
"You can see it whether you're coming into town from the Turnpike or leaving town," Walker said. "You wouldn't believe how many people didn't realize we had this thing."
But they wanted to do more.
"Through Charlie and Peggy talking, we thought why not put up flags and a monument for everyone who served," Walker said.