New veterans park to open in Cedar City

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CEDAR CITY -- Veterans groups in Iron County have been preparing to dedicate a memorial to men and women who served in several wars. That dedication will take place Wednesday.

The project has been years in the making. The Cedar City Rotary Club raised and donated $50,000, and then people in communities throughout Iron County gave generously as well, so those who gave their lives will never be forgotten.

It is a place of peace and a place of remembrance. The men and women of Iron County who gave their lives in six wars or conflicts now have a place of honor. Their names are cut into granite, assembled by their colleagues.

Ed Hahne, chairman of the World War II committee, served in Germany. At 20, he was a sergeant in charge of a machine gun section. He says this memorial is long overdue. They were his friends.

He says, "Many of these veterans were people I was in school with or who were neighbors of mine and were friends, families I have known all my life. And it was just appropriate."

Members of the Rotary Club supported the building of a memorial park at 200 North and 200 East; overseeing individual memorials to veterans from World War II and wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Veterans Day the World War I memorial -- recently moved from the city park -- will join them.

Glade Hamilton, chairman of the Rotary Club Steering Committee, says, "We will have a ceremony that will dedicate the World War I Memorial and then dedicate the park and the Rotary Club will basically deed the park to the city."

The veterans' groups say they want every young person who sees this to understand sacrifice.

Hahne says, "Freedom is not free. We have to pay for our freedom ... And the price we pay is in service and in blood."

The Veterans Park cost between $500,000 and $600,000. The Rotary Club members say Wednesday's ceremony will include a "Thank you" to all who made it possible.


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