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New veterans memorial installed in downtown Cumming

A new bronze sculpture is on display in front of the Forsyth County Courthouse.

CUMMING, Ga. — If you drove through downtown Cumming around noon on Monday, you might have noticed a large crane positioned directly between City Hall and the county courthouse. The heavy machinery was used to help local workers install a new veterans memorial, which the sculptor describes as the legacy of humanity as depicted through a World War II soldier.

“We have the World War II soldier feeding a young girl whose village has just been bombed and shelled out,” Gregory Johnson said. “She's on a cart which represents the fact that the commerce is broken, the wheel is broken. We have a small boy who is walking up to the scene. He's not sure who these soldiers are, but he heard good things about them and he's coming up to get some food as well.”

Johnson, who owns a fine art studio in Cumming, says he started working on the memorial more than a year ago. He sculpted it in Cumming, then had it cast at Inferno Art Foundry in Union City.

Credit: WXIA

“You’re looking at about 1,400 lbs. in bronze,” Johnson said. “It is hollow like a basketball. The walls are somewhere between 5/16 to 3/8 inch thick, but, as you can see, the soldier has got a lot of armament on him, weaponry, etc. He alone is about 350 lbs.”

He says getting everything in its proper place posed a unique challenge.

Credit: WXIA

“The most difficult part of the sculpture is that it had to be created in three pieces,” Johnson said. “The soldier had to be putting the food in the girl's mouth, so there's a kind of orchestration of trying to get those things to come together.”

A granite plaque will accompany the sculpture, which sits on the grounds of the Forsyth County Courthouse. The veterans memorial will be unveiled during a ceremony on Saturday, December 7 at 11 a.m.

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