Cottonwood, AL - If you drive through Cottonwood around Memorial Day or Veterans Day you’re likely to see crosses honoring fallen heroes lining the road. Now a more permanent memorial is being painted downtown.
“It’s a plus for Cottonwood,” said Bob Penny, known by his friend as Kandyman.
He has been working on this mural for weeks. It’s about half-way done.
Once finished, the mural will feature twelve decorated veterans from Cottonwood.
“Those are the guys that are the real heroes. If it wasn’t for those guys we would be speaking German or Japanese,” said Penny.
He said the stories behind these pictures keep him going.
“Someone said Lloyd Jones, he was in WWII. He fought in the battle of the bulge. I talked to his wife and she said yeah he won three bronze stars and a presidential citation. He’s going on that side right there,” said Penny.
While they hope the mural promotes patriotism there is a bigger goal.
The town has struggled in recent years to attract and retain business to its downtown. In fact the chamber of commerce recently disbanded. Now Mayor Ken Hamilton hopes this mural will breathe new life into the area.
“We’re just trying to do something to bring a little bit of light to our town. A great little town, a good place to live in, and a good place to be from,” said Hamilton.
“It’s just something to put us on the map, bring in the people and bring in the business again. There are a lot of people as excited as I am about it,” said Penny.
If that excitement continues up to six murals could be painted downtown.
Penny is donating the labor, meaning he’s doing all of the work for free. The city is taking donations for the materials. You can contribute at the Five Star Bank in Cottonwood.