ENGLEWOOD, Fla. - An Englewood teen is making a grand gesture of gratitude to our Armed Forces today.
After $4,000 dollars in fundraising and 10 months worth of organizing, Paul Evers is finally satisfied with his "thank you" gift to U.S. Servicemen: a Veterans Memorial in Englewood Cemetery.
"If you're just going to say thank you, why not give it to them in a special way they can remember it by?" Evers said Thursday.
The 13-year old boy scout brain-stormed the project years ago, and then put his vision to work.
"I looked online for a couple of ideas, found a plan that I liked, got plans drawn up and started fundraising and getting things donated," Evers said.
Medallions representing all branches of the armed forces are embedded in the concrete flooring of the memorial, with an eternal, high-tech flame flickering away in the center.
"It's all solar-powered, with a wire under and a fan just to hold the flame going," Evers explained.
Paul asked for help from contractors and construction companies to make the memorial. After local donations of time and money, his dream is now complete, with veterans standing by.
"It kind of befuddles your mind, that a 13-year old would come up with this idea and carry it through on his own. He's just done an absolutely outstanding job," U.S. Marine Ron Guiliano said Thursday.
While there's been plenty of praise for Paul, he says the real reward is the local veterans reaction to his way of saying thanks.
"I was speechless. When I first looked and then walked up there to see how this thing was set up, he put a lot of time and effort into this thing," Guiliano said.
Paul Evers will soon receive the high honor of becoming an Eagle Scout for his work in building the memorial. He'll be the youngest Eagle Scout in his troop's close to 60-year history.