Memorial dedication Saturday

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A year’s worth of work will be unveiled at the Benewah County Veterans’ Memorial Saturday, Oct. 19.

The dedication ceremony starts at 1 p.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery in St. Maries. Ample parking will be available on the south side of the memorial. Traffic flow will be directed around the perimeter of the cemetery, Jack Botts said.

Those who do not wish to park at the cemetery will be able to park at the Benewah County Fairgrounds.

“Valley Vista will be running a shuttle bus from the fairgrounds to the cemetery starting at noon,” Mr. Botts said. “It will also operate after the ceremony.”

Chairs and bleachers will be set up to accommodate those who attend. However, Mr. Botts said it might not be a bad idea for people to bring a folding chair just in case.

The effort to build the memorial officially launched last year at the end of October. Since then, residents and businesses have rallied to support the project. It’s the community effort, Mr. Botts said, that has made the Benewah County Veterans’ Memorial a reality.

Steve Hartman, city crew members Candi Schiermeister, John Parker and Marla Schauls, and Jim Shubert have spent time working on the veterans' memorial in preparation for Saturday's dedication ceremony. The event starts at 1 p.m.

The committee had planned to have Tom Hammes speak at the ceremony, but Mr. Hammes’ trip was cancelled. Mr. Botts said retired Lt. Colonel Myron Hodgson will speak briefly.

Mr. Hodgson grew up in the Benewah Valley and graduated from Cheney High School. He was an outstanding athlete in both high school and college. He served 23 years in the Air Force before he retired in 1980. He currently lives in the Spokane area.

The St. Maries Community Band and Chorus will perform throughout the dedication ceremony. Dan Felton has agreed to be the master of ceremonies.

Work continues on the veterans' memorial as volunteers prepare for Saturday's dedication ceremony.

Many past and present veterans will be involved in the special flag raising ceremony. There will be an unveiling of three monuments by various groups of individuals who have been selected because of their history and connections to the monuments. Chaplain Tim Hall will do the invocation and benediction at the ceremony.

Mr. Botts said he expects the ceremony to last an hour. There will be a reception to follow at the Elks’ Lodge. Dessert as well as a beverage will be served.

“We’re very excited,” Mr. Botts said of the approaching dedication. “All the pieces are coming together, and I’m anxious to see all those flags flying.”

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