A memorial to Specialist Christopher Stark, killed in military action in Afghanistan, will be placed at Monett's South Park on the first anniversary of his death on Feb. 28.
A bench in Stark's honor will be placed at the Phantom F-4 jet veterans memorial in a ceremony that will be held at 4 p.m. The dedication is open to the public.
Stark, 22, was a 2007 Monett High School graduate and member of the Junior ROTC program at the Southwest Area Career Center. He was assigned to the 705th Explosive Ordnance Company in Fort Polk, La., and died of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. He will be honored by members of his unit who will attend the ceremony.
"Twenty guys from Christopher's 705th EOD unit are coming in from Louisiana, Georgia and Virginia and staying in Monett, Feb. 26 through 29, for the dedication ceremony and to pay their respects," said Teresa Stark, Christopher's mother. "I'll be taking them out to Jolly Mill where the funeral was, and to the cemetery, where the headstone will be set this week.
"The bench signifies Monett's outpouring of love and support that was shown to our family," said Stark. "The bench was purchased with the Christopher Stark Memorial Fund that so many contributed to, in lieu of flowers. Trenton (Christopher's brother) and I wanted to give back to the community and say thank you."