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Spelling Error Draws Attention To War Memorial (Photos)

| by Brendan Kelly

A war memorial in Columbia City, Indiana, is receiving plenty of attention after a photo pointing out its spelling error went viral.

According to WANE, the memorial reads "War on Terriorism," rather than the intended "War on Terrorism." A photo of the memorial's mistaken engraving was shared on social media, where it quickly began to spread, causing people to begin gathering at the site of the memorial to see the mistake and take their own photos.

Designer Ty Murphy's memorial was put in place outside of the Whitley County courthouse in honor of veterans of modern wars, according to WXIN. It was first unveiled on June 27; by June 29, the photo's spread had made the memorial the talk of the town in Columbia City.

"The phones have rang off the hook. We got 100 likes on Facebook for the memorial and about 100 people asking us if we're going to correct the spelling, it we knew it was wrong," Murphy said.

Murphy said that several people, including himself, members of the company that made the memorial, and the crew that installed it, failed to notice the mistake during the production process. He has noted, however, that the bench on which the error appears was made is not the focal point of the project: "This is the important part: the guys that gave their lives," Murphy said. "A mistake on a bench is a pretty small thing to worry about when there are so many other things you should concentrate on."

Murphy put tape over the error as a temporary fix.

Despite the mistake garnering a bit of attention, the memorial has received plenty of praise as well.

Richard Stark of Columbia City's VFW 5582 sat and admired the memorial, saying: "They weren't really treated properly when they got home, but after decades and years gone by, the public is now realizing what the Vietnam veteran had to endure."

Stark was largely responsible for promoting the efforts to raise funds for the project. He and Murphy both acknowledge that the memorial would not have happened without support and donations from several veterans' groups, local businesses, and individuals in the community.

"Everybody came together because this was a good cause," Stark said.

Murphy said that the bench will be replaced and acknowledged that he can see the humor in the situation. 

"It's kind of funny in a way," he said. "It's worked out to be an attention getter." 

Sources: WANEWXIN / Photo credits: Derek Jensen/Wikimedia Commons, WXIN

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