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Archive for Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Veterans cemetery dedicated in WaKeeney

September 14, 2004

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— A new veterans cemetery in WaKeeney is likely to have its first burials this month.

The 24-acre site is one of four new cemeteries around the state under the federal Memorial Grant Program to provide burial grounds for veterans and their families.

The first opened two years ago at Fort Dodge, another opens in Winfield next month, and a new post cemetery at Fort Riley is expected to open in about three years.

John Davis, of Quinter, was among more than 300 people who attended Friday's dedication ceremony.

Davis, a World War II veteran, said he would like to eventually be buried in the WaKeeney cemetery.

"I've already bought a cemetery plot and a headstone at Quinter, but it would be nice to be here," Davis said.

Four families are considering having veterans' remains moved to WaKeeney, said Larry Montandon, manager of the Fort Dodge and WaKeeney Kansas Veterans cemeteries.

The remains of six other veterans also will be brought to WaKeeney, he said, with the first of those later this month.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., was among the speakers at the dedication.

"Many of us today think about veterans as people who are older," Moran said. "But we forget that the men and women who have served our country were still in their youth.... And many of those young people gave up their chance to grow old, and instead made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of freedom."

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts and representatives of the Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs and the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration also participated in the dedication ceremony.

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