In 1920, Robert Burns Lodge No. 464, Harrisburg, contributed funds for the planting of 268 oak trees on the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown campus, as a living representation of the Masons who died serving our country during World War I. Additions were made to the memorial over the years as a tribute to those brethren for their supreme sacrifice.
With the turning of the 21st century, part of the Masonic Village’s 20-year vision plan included updating and enhancing our Memorial Grove into the renamed Veterans Grove as an essential priority.
The renovations to the monument encourage reflection of wars past and the continuing potential for peace and freedom. The Veterans Grove was restored to its original splendor with the planting of 123 oak trees to bring the number back to the original 268. The stone pathway leading up to the monument displays the various conflicts our nation fought, beginning with the Revolutionary War through current conflicts. The entrance proclaims the inspirational words of those who have led our country during times of unrest, beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s bold declaration: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” The central focus is on the Word of God, upon which our country was founded.
The walking paths, picnic area and restroom facilities are provided for family and friends to take time to remember, honor and pray for those currently serving in our Armed Forces and pay respect to all veterans, especially those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freedom we enjoy each day.
The Eternal Flame monument was dedicated in 2015 in tribute to all military and veterans. It is inscribed with the words “All Gave Some – Some Gave All.” Pavers surrounding the monument are engraved with names of those who have served or are serving as designated by loved ones who have purchased them to support the construction and maintenance of the monument.