Updated: Oct 3, 2020
After countless delays and a pandemic, the Veterans Tribute Carillon Tower stands at Georgia National Cemetery just in time for Memorial Day, 2020.
The Veterans Tribute Carillon Tower, a four story, state-of-the-art carillon bell tower, was installed May 16, 2020 on one of the highest, most visible points in our state’s national cemetery in Canton. It stands as a beacon of appreciation to veterans — past, present, and future. After countless delays and a pandemic, this Tower stands!
“This tower stands as a lasting tribute, honoring the past, saluting the present, and inspiring the future for all American Veterans.”
The Tower was made in the USA by the Verdin Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. On May 15, the Tower was transported across four state lines by an escort of over 125 motorcycles (Patriot Guard, Honor Guard Riders, etc), 30 corvettes from the Classic Glass Corvette Club of Marietta, and countless first responders.
The Tower has three functional cast bronze bells in addition to a state-of-the-art Schulmerich g5 Carillon audio system which plays more than 7,800 musical selections in various genres or voices. Ten bagpipe songs are included: “Amazing Grace,” “Going Home,” “Highland Cathedral,” “America,” “Flowers of the Forest,” and the songs of the five branches of the armed forces. “Taps” and “Volley” are, of course, also included. It will be heard across the entire national cemetery, an inaugural concert will be coordinated for the public at a later date.
History in the Making
The Tower’s bells have their own history already. The bells were cast, in part, by military medals and other mementos from American wars. Contributors mailed in items old and new from near and far. One Georgia family donated a WWI Whistle. Here is a portion of the story… “Walter Binford was a beloved character, passionate and full of life. When The Great War was raging, he lied about his age and joined the war effort. He yearned for excitement and glory but found humbling and unthinkable carnage on the battlefields. He barely survived shrapnel, gun shots, and gassings. In 1918, Walter Binford picked up this tiny whistle on a battlefield in France. It had been untouched by the bombings so he kept it as a memento and it was passed down through the family. Today Walter’s whistle-of-war has become a bell-of-peace, and after 100 years his service and sacrifice is not forgotten.” This is just one story among dozens that have been captured and archived. The bells were cast during a touching ceremony held at the Verdin Foundry on March 6.
The Veterans Tribute Tower was completely funded by donations made through the 501c3 nonprofit, GNC Advisory Council. This 100% volunteer operated organization raised nearly $400,000 to fund this project. Hardscaping, landscaping, and a viewing area are in the works, and the Tower plaque reads, “This tower stands as a lasting tribute, honoring the past, saluting the present, and inspiring the future for all American Veterans.”
The Veterans Tribute Carillon Tower is located in Georgia National Cemetery at the Traffic Circle just past the Public Information Center. Address: 101 Scott Hudgens Drive, Canton GA 30114.