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AMVETS prepare to install bell tower at Tallahassee National Cemetery

Posted at 6:01 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 18:01:15-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Members of American Veterans Post 1776 have worked the last five years to lay the foundation for a daily tribute to families and loved ones laid to rest in Tallahassee.

"We like to think of our post as a small post doing big things," said Gordon Lightfoot, AMVET Post 1776 Commander.

For the past five years, AMVETS Post 1776 has collected donations, adding up to the more than $75,000 they needed to install a bell tower honoring those who served our country. But it was no easy task.

"It's been a long process partly because the players have changed," said Lightfoot.

One of those players is Commander Randy Miller.

"He worked hard and helped and was very instrumental in helping raise the funds for the project so we're pleased with that and I talked with his family his wife Wendy and they're all very proud of the project," said Lightfoot.

Miller's work resulted in more than $45,000 of donations from local veterans and community members.

He died in November due to COVID-19. Lightfoot and others said they're proud to see his efforts through to completion.

"For me, it's a great feeling except there is an exception losing Randy really hurt we lost him around Thanksgiving time," said Paul Rogerson, AMVETS Post 1776 finance officer.

They're grateful his work has given families of the 2,000 vets buried at the cemetery something to look forward to.

"Coming out here at 5 o'clock in the evening and hearing taps, the end of the day call for soldiers and everything, to me, It's just a beautiful great feeling to see this happen."

With the foundation now set, AMVETS will install the completed tower next week.