Wednesday, 22 January 2020 15:38

Hamlet cross a symbol of 'hope and love'

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Ed O'Neal says the lighted cross on his Hamlet property is a sign of "hope and love." Ed O'Neal says the lighted cross on his Hamlet property is a sign of "hope and love." Charlie Melvin - Richmond Observer

HAMLET — Ed O'Neal erected a 21-foot cross on his property located on Freeman Mill Road Dec. 2. 

“The cross is a Christian symbol of hope and love,” said O'Neal, “two things that we can all use more of.” 

The cross is lit by an array of LED lights that O'Neal says will be powered by a solar panel in the future. 

The retired Air Force officer believes that he was inspired to light the cross. 

“I didn't want the cross to be unseen at night, he said, “so the idea of a smaller lighted cross that seems suspended in the air  came to me.”

O'Neal may have been inspired to place the cross on his property but he was not alone in the effort to lift it into place. 

Norman Bland and his son Ronald helped with the idea of using 26-foot piers for the cross, according to O'Neal. Johnny Patrick was the carpenter who put it all together and Van Billingsley and his crew from Electronic Security Company placed the cross and designed the lighting system.   

“These guys made it all come together,” he said.

O’Neal hopes that the cross reminds travelers of their blessings.

“Lots of people travel Freeman Mill Road on their way to work at the Richmond Industrial Park,” he said, “and I hope they look at the cross and think about how blessed we are despite the challenges life brings.”  

In addition to reminding passersby of their blessings, O'Neal wants the site to become a gathering point for those celebrating Easter and Christmas.

“I've always enjoyed Easter sunrise service, and I hope that the community might gather here to celebrate,” he said. “Richmond County is a great community and I'm glad to live here and do my part to make it better.”     


Last modified on Wednesday, 22 January 2020 15:42