Sarah's Story: A Masterpiece for "GI's General"

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MOBERLY - Art is in the eye of the beholder, and the Moberly community is trying to create a masterpiece. It isn't on a canvas or require a potter's wheel, but in the community - a library, museum and memorial to General Omar Bradley.

"I think without a doubt he's the most famous person to ever have lived in Moberly and I think it's just long overdue," said Mary Lee Noel of the Omar Bradley Committee.

General Bradley grew up in Moberly and was working on the Wasbash Railroad in Randolph County when his Sunday school teacher encouraged him to take the entrance exam to West Point. He climbed the ranks and ended up with the nickname "the GI's General." However, his nickname was no joking matter: he commanded more than a million men with the largest body of American soldiers to serve under a U.S. Field Commander ever. He was the last Five Star General, the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the person President Truman selected to restart the Veterans Administration.

A bronze statue of the beloved leader already graces Rothwell Park in Moberly, but the committee doesn't believe that's enough.

"I think it's important that we retain and hold the memory of this man," said Russ Freed of the Omar Bradley Committee.

"So many of the things that we deal with today, the improvement in health care for veterans, veterans home loan program... those things were started under General Bradley," said Wayne Wilcox of the Omar Bradley Committee.

This endeavor could be a masterpiece in the community for a man who created so many masterpieces for the United States. The General Omar Bradley library, memorial and museum committee has launched a fundraising campaign and is looking for financial help to complete its masterpiece. If you would like to contribute, please send donations to: General Omar Bradley/ Memorial, Library & Museum Inc/ P.O. Box 326/ Moberly, MO 65270

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Sarah Hill prepares these stories for the Veterans United Network.