Although there have been no new addition this year, the Memorial Parks Advisory Committee will carry on the tradition of hosting a Veterans Day event at the Golden Belt Veterans Memorial north of Great Bend, said committee Chairman Mick Lang.
The observance is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Golden Belt Memorial Park located at 59 NW 50 Road north of Great Bend.
“We don’t have a stone to dedicate this year,” Lang said. Veterans Day ceremonies the last two years have marked the installation of the first to stones engraved with the names of Barton County vets.
But, “we are working on (stones) three and four,” he said.
The program will include:
Opening music - National Anthem, Great Bend High School Band, directed by Mark DeWald.
Laying of the wreath - Stan Jantz, Sons of the American Revolution.
Invocation - the Rev. Don Bedore.
Introductions - County Works Director Darren Williams.
Opening remarks - Commissioner Alicia Straub and Lang.
Recognition - American Legion Riders Honor Guard
Golden Plains Quilts of Valor - Amy Mellor, group leader
Musical selection - GBHS band
Closing prayer - Bedore
Closing music - Taps - Matt Zorn, GBHS band
“It sounds like a very nice program,” commission Chairwoman Jennifer Schartz said.
“We’re hoping for a decent crowd,” Lang said. It is also the opening day of pheasant season.
The third stone
“We’re really struggling with this one,” said Diana Watson, County Commission assistant, of the third memorial stone. At $45 per line, 520 (about 370 veterans) have to be sold before each of the stones can be ordered.
“We have 150 lines to go,” she said. Since this project was started a few years ago, it has become increasingly challenging to lure residents to come forward.
With the holidays around the corner, “this is a great gift for that someone if you don’t know what to get them,” Watson said. It can be for the vetern themselves or a family member of a veteran.
“That veteran means something to somebody,” she said. “This is a great way to honor them.”
Recollections of loved ones can fade. “But, this is something tangible to keep memories alive,” Watson said
“That’s part of why we are so vested in this,” she said of the memorial.
The first was dedicated on Veterans Day 2015 and the second last year.
The Golden Belt Veterans’ Memorial honors veterans with Barton County ties who have served in all conflicts and in all branches of the military who have a connection with Barton County. Qualifications to be included are proof that the veteran was at least at one time a Barton County residency and an honorable discharge from the military. The veteran can be living or deceased, and active-duty service members are also eligible.
Those wanting to purchase a spot on the memorial or make a donation can bring their payments to the Barton County Operations Office in room 107 of the courthouse at 1400 Main in Great Bend. There is a two-line maximum per entry, and applications are available in the Operations Office, on the county’s website or can be sent by mail.
For more information, call 620-793-1800.