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Salute to veterans

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More than 50 folks took advantage of a break in the weather Monday to gather at the American Legion Hall in Indianola and dedicate a new memorial to area veterans.

The dedication was slated to follow the annual Memorial Day parade and service, but those events were cancelled due to the weather.

The new memorial features a 1,900 pound shell that is the same type used on the USS Iowa battleship, surrounded by bricks listing the names of people who have served or are still serving in the military. While the memorial is dedicated, it is by no means finished, emphasized Don Babcock, post commander.

Friends and families can still purchase bricks in honor of any area veteran. Bricks are $50. For more information contact the American Legion at 961-0127.

Speaker Wayne Petersen said the day was a fitting one for the dedication, because it fell on the first day of summer. “What could be more fitting than to remember our veterans on a day that celebrates new life?” he asked. Petersen said that those who served were dedicated “to a cause larger than themselves.”

For those who lost their lives, he added, “no ribbons, medals or awards can replace them.”

But the memorial can remember them. Babcock dedicated the memorial in honor of “those who have served, those who are serving and those who will serve in the future.”

After the dedication, family members and friends took time to view the more than 200 bricks that have been installed so far, looking for the names of loved ones. Organizers hope that eventually, bricks will fill the entire area in front of the Legion on First Avenue.

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