Dedication Saturday for new veterans monument

The Wykoff Veterans' Park now has a memorial stone that will be dedicated during Fall Fest to local people who were killed in action in conflicts around the world. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
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That’s why they were out there, rain or shine, dry or muddy, fear-filled yet brave enough to summon their deepest courage when necessary.

“We’re having a dedication for our ‘killed in action,’ or KIA, monument,” stated Wykoff Veterans’ Memorial Committee member LuAnn Hare, inviting the public to join the committee on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Wykoff Veterans’ Memorial Park on the corner of Gold Street and Highway 80, where the sacrifices of men and women of the community have been commemorated and where those who gave their all will be honored during Fall Fest. 

Guest speaker for the event that starts at 10 a.m. before the parade is Dick Anderson, a 1964 graduate of Wykoff Public Schools, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. He will talk about the dedication residents of this small community have made when they are called to serve. 

Also, Nate Pike, past commander of the American Legion in Spring Valley and First District commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, will honor those that served in the Vietnam War and will dedicate the memorial to those that were killed in action during the Vietnam War and other military combats.

Vietnam veterans to be honored

Vietnam veterans are especially invited to attend the KIA memorial dedication.  The committee will be providing rolls and coffee for them at Shooter’s Bar from 9 to 10 a.m. Veterans are also invited to ride or walk in the parade. 

“The committee thanks them for their service and would like to honor them at our dedication,” said Hare.

The committee has planned to include a KIA memorial stone since the park was a concept on a piece of paper, and then a scale model complete with pavers lining the walk, noted Hare. She cited that there had been careful consideration of what should be placed in the park to recognize returned and KIA veterans’ contributions to the nation’s freedoms. 

“We had the money in place, but I think the biggest obstacle was what kind of monument to install, because some people wanted to include names on it, but we decided not to in case we missed somebody,” she said.  “There were also pavers placed there this spring.  We want to honor the Vietnam veterans this year at our dedication.” 

She added that she hoped that the public would take time to stop for the dedication.  That is one reason the committee planned it earlier in the morning — so that everybody who wants to be there can be there before the parade starts at 11 a.m.

Flag disposal Sunday

Additionally, the committee has chosen to offer a flag-burning ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 30, during Fall Fest, with the respectful incineration of flags taking place at 3:30 p.m. across from the community center in the city parking lot north of city hall.  The ceremony will allow for the proper disposal of American flags that are tattered enough not to be flown any longer. 

The committee encouraged participation, as worn flags may be brought to the ceremony or dropped off at City Hall or the Gateway Café beforehand.  The committee will have 3- by 5-foot nylon flags available for $21 each at the ceremony for those who wish to replace their flags.