At the July 14, 2020 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, Brent Lowman of the Lowman Law Firm presented the board with a plan to erect a monument to honor Hernando County Veterans who perished in the war against terror during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Commissioners approved the plan unanimously.
Lowman will be providing the monument plaque and the Battlefield Cross. Hernando County will be providing the rest of the materials and construction for the monument, anticipated to cost approximately $14,000 including a 10% contingency.
The vision for the monument came to Lowman when he returned from Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. While waiting for his turn at the Tax Collector’s office, he noticed that the current memorial to veterans that were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan from Hernando County consists of photos on a poster board. Lowman said, “I didn't think that was good enough. In true Marine Corps fashion, I keep a notebook wherever I go of things I want to do… and the word “statue” went in it.”
Lowman had been back to the Tax Collector’s office a few more times, and kept seeing the poster. He took a photo of it. After six months or so, he realized that veterans of the Vietnam war waited many years to be acknowledged for their service and honored for all the sacrifices that they had made. He wished to honor those killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom sooner rather than later.
“So I thought again, I thought so we can do better.”
Lowman’s family runs the Lowman Family Foundation, an organization for local charity work. Lowman brought his idea to his family and they unanimously said “This is exactly what we want to do.”
Working with local designers Don Davis, Sam Burton and Craig Becker, and Public Works Director Scott Herring, the monument will be a bronze statue of what's called the Battle Cross, which is a the standard bronze rifle, that's turned upside down with boots and a helmet and it will have a next to it a bronze plaque over a granite monument with the names of the service members and the inscription will read, “Dedicated memory of the service members of Hernando County who gave their lives in the global war on terrorism during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.”