Wellsburg unveils new veterans memorial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wellsburg unveils new veterans memorial

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WELLSBURG (KWWL) -

Veterans in one small Grundy County town are being honored with a brand new memorial, unveiled Sunday.  Two years ago, a group of people in Wellsburg banded together to begin raising money to construct the monument.

William Jaspers is a career military man, retiring from the Army after multiple tours of duty, even earning a bronze star for his service.

Jaspers came all the way to Wellsburg from Cheyenne, Wyoming to see his Uncle Frank's name engraved on this new veterans memorial.

"When the world was at stake, when tyranny was going to rule, these men stood up, left here, and sacrificed.  They drew a line in the sand and this would go no further.  They gave their all, and surely we can honor them in this manner," Jaspers said.

Jaspers' uncle died during World War II, and is one of nine Wellsburg natives to ever be killed in action.

Wayne Blythe spearheaded efforts to get this monument built--not just to honor those who died, but for all men and women from Wellsburg who have served in the armed forces.  All of their names are inscribed on granite walls, unveiled one by one Sunday.  Blythe is among them, having served in the Vietnam War.

"There's people that gave the ultimate on  here.  Some of us, we just served.  We got by lucky.  But this is just a good tribute to all the men and women who have served in the military," Blythe said.

The centerpiece of the memorial--a single soldier kneeling before a cross, symbolizing love of God and country.  Hundreds from the community gathered to see it for the first time, in a ceremony honoring the community's rich service history, complete with a military flyover.

Blythe says for current and future generations---this memorial has one very simple goal.

"So people don't forget.  There's over 400 names there of people that have served for our freedom, and I don't want the next generation to forget that," said Blythe.

The Wellsburg Veterans Memorial is just more than two years in the making.  It was made possible by more than $200,000 in private funding and in-kind donations.

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