Westbrook honors area veterans
WESTBROOK -- After more than two years of planning, the community of Westbrook will dedicate a memorial Sunday afternoon to honor its veterans.
Placed in a corner of the Westbrook City Park, near the H.J. Christensen ball field, the memorial features an etched stone, surrounded by four additional stones containing the names of 479 veterans with ties to the community. The memorial will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. Sunday as part of Westbrook's Fun Days celebration.
"We're going to have a small program," said Deb Jans, one of five people who served on the memorial committee.
Sen. Jim Vickerman (D-Tracy), will be the guest speaker for the event.
Stephen Kjorness will serve as master of ceremonies for the afternoon dedication, while Retired Chaplain Major Gen. Norris Einertson will do the invocation and benediction. Westbrook Mayor Rocky Kolar will also provide brief comments. Jans said the color guard will be on hand for the event, and the Westbrook-Walnut Grove High School band will perform.
Jans first had the idea for the project while trying to think of a Father's Day gift for her dad. She had seen a veterans memorial in Currie and broached the idea to several individuals back in early 2008.
"We really got the ball rolling that fall," she said. "We sent out our first fliers ... in January 2009."
The committee, which also included Dennis Jutting, Steve Kjorness, Todd Dibble and John Madson, began with a list of members from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion and then put up fliers in the community.
"We really didn't have a list to go by," said Jans.
As word spread about the project, the committee began collecting names and donations, too -- from local businesses, organizations and individuals. Many of those donations were used to pay for etching in the names of veterans who were deceased and had no family in the area.
"We really didn't have a clue (how big it would be) when we first started out," said Jans. "We were just going to have a couple of little stones with a couple of flags, and we ended up with a whole corner of the park.
"It started out to be a small project, but it turned out a whole lot better than we anticipated," she added.
The names are listed in alphabetical order on the four stones, with room for more names to be added in the future. Rausch Bros. Monument Co. of Big Stone City, S.D., designed and built the monument, while Majsdac Hill Greenhouse and Landscaping of Granite Falls designed and installed landscaping features. In addition to the monument, there is a gradual waterfall that flows into a small pond.
Other events planned during Westbrook's Fun Days are as follows:
5 to 6:30 p.m., community barbecue, Sanford Westbrook Hospital.
7 p.m., Evening of Praise, Westbrook Community Center.
1 p.m., Heritage House Care Foundation three-person golf scramble, Rolling Hills Golf Course.
7 p.m., Miss Westbrook Scholarship program, Westbrook-Walnut Grove High School auditorium.
9 p.m., street dance with music by Cold Brew.
9 a.m., sand volleyball tournament, City Park.
10:30 a.m., Summer Olympics, City Park.
10:30 a.m., food vendors open, City Park.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Heritage House Museum open.
11 a.m. to 1 a.m., beer garden open, City Park.
Noon, kids' pedal tractor pull, City Park.
1 p.m., bingo and kids games, City Park.
1:30 p.m., karaoke for kids, City Park.
4 p.m., parade, followed by billy goat bingo, City Park.
5 p.m., Hardees roast beef dinner, City Park.
5 p.m., adult bean bag tournament, City Park.
8 p.m. to 1 a.m., karaoke in the beer garden, City Park.
10 a.m., community church service, Westbrook-Walnut Grove High School gym.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., all-school reunion, Westbrook-Walnut Grove High School.
1:30 p.m.: dedication of Veterans Memorial.