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Summer Issue 2010

Greeley County Veterans Memorial

 

by Christy Hopkins

Rays of sunlight filtered through the trees overhead as WWII and Korean War Veterans removed the tarp to unveil the monument at Greeley County’s Veterans Memorial, dedicated May 1, 2010. A collective “ahh…” was heard throughout the crowd as those present shared their pleasure at the black marble stone engraved with colorful emblems of the five branches of our country’s military service.

An inscription on the monument reads: “To those who died, honor and eternal rest; to those still in bondage, remembrance and hope; and to those who returned, gratitude and peace. This memorial is dedicated in honor of the valiant men and women of Greeley County, Kansas, who rendered unyielding service to the cause of liberty in declared and undeclared wars to keep the United States of America a free and great nation.”

Five hundred bricks line the edge of the plaza on which the monument rests, honoring veterans and military families from the Civil War to present day conflicts, from the United States Marine Corp, the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard, the Air Force, as well as the National Guard. Over 350 bear the names of those beloved sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, grandfathers and grandmothers, friends and neighbors who have served their country. The remaining bricks will be engraved as additional memorials are requested. Engraved benches will be added to the site in the coming months.

The Greeley County Veterans Memorial Project, which began as one veteran’s dream shared over a cup of coffee more than a year ago, became a reality and now stands as a lasting tribute to those Americans who have willingly given their service to the cause of American freedom.

Original plans included a site for the Veterans Memorial at the junction of Hwy. 96 and Hwy 27. After a community conversation to discuss various potential locations for the memorial, community members formally weighed in and opted to designate an area for the monument in what is now known as Memorial Park, directly south of the softball field at the north end of Tribune. The location, shaded by trees planted years ago by Greeley County Pride, offers a restful honorarium with easy accessibility and high visibility.

Members of the Veterans Memorial Committee, with generous assistance from Unified Greeley County, VFW Post 7521 and the Ladies Auxiliary, Price & Sons Funeral Home, Greeley County Pride, Dixon Drug, the City of Horace, and various private donors, worked devotedly to ensure that the project remained on its scheduled timeline. As planned, the memorial’s dedication ceremony corresponded with the 2010 Loyalty Day Celebration.

Representatives from both the local and state level VFW and Ladies Auxiliary and the Greeley County Community shared their sentiments at the memorial’s dedication while a Color Guard stood at attention. The Greeley County Men’s Choral Group sang the National Anthem and God Bless America as the local Boy Scouts raised the American Flag over the monument for the first time.

For more information on the Greeley County Veterans Memorial Project, please contact Greeley County Community Development at (620) 376-2548 or any Veterans Memorial committee member: Nadella Koehn, Christy Hopkins, Joyce Huddleston, Gerald or Doreen Mangold, Karen Piper, Mark Rine, Evelyn Schneider, or Alan Wineinger.

 


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