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Memorial Day on Monday saw nearly 200 people attend a noon commemoration for the White Bird Veterans Memorial Park. Here, an unidentified couple share a hug in front of one of two slabs engraved with the names of White Bird veterans.

WHITE BIRD – Commemorating Memorial Day, the community of White Bird drew nearly 200 people on Monday to formally dedicate its veterans’ park.

“This is a place for the public to use, as well as veterans,” spoke Bobbie Black, chaplain for American Legion White Bird Post 152, “to come and reflect on what a veteran is, what people have given, what people expect from a veteran, and for Post 152 to keep the memory alive of veterans – alive and deceased – in front of the public.”

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Walt Lindsey is the commander of American Legion White Bird Post 152.

The May 27 noon ceremony marked the completion of phase two of the White Bird Veterans Memorial, which includes two ceremonial fire pits, two granite benches, and two granite slabs inscribed with the names of White Bird veterans dating back to the Indian wars. Work started on the memorial in 2017.

According to post commander Walt Lindsey, about $17,500 has been raised, and about that same amount donated, toward the memorial. Completion of phase three – sprinkler system, bathroom, pay-per-use shower, installation of a sidewalk and curb and fencing by the creek – is set for Memorial Day 2020, tentative on fund-raising.

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Walt Lindsey, commander, American Legion White Bird Post 152, hands out certificates of appreciation and meritorious service at Monday’s Memorial Day dedication of the White Bird Veterans Memorial. (L-R) Bryson Robinett, Tim Hinkley, Richard Eller, Dan Marion, Trevor Eller, Bill Wisenor, commander walt Lindsey and Homer Brown.

One of the benches pays tribute to resident Matt Wheeler, a U.S. Army veteran, Lindsey explained, who was helped by community members to receive help for issues with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and who died in 2017. Present were members of Wheeler’s family who came in from Maine to be present at the commemoration.

“Wondering what other veterans in this community needed this help, this support,” he said, “we decided to resurrect this American Legion post,” which has since become the fastest growing in the nation.

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Marv Hagedorn, chief administrator, Idaho Division of Veterans Services, attended the Memorial Day dedication in White Bird.

Among those attending Monday was Marv Hagedorn, chief administrator for the Idaho Division of Veterans Services.

“I came here to visit and show my appreciation for all the hard work Post 152 has done,” Hagedorn said. He had his director oversee the Memorial Day commemoration at the Boise veterans’ cemetery so he could attend at White Bird. “I’m a rural Idaho guy, so this is much more meaningful for me.”

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Honor guard at Monday’s Memorial Day dedication were (L-R) Mick Hanson, Ben Paul, Lucky Gallegos, John Raynor, Eric Brimmer, Bryan Lowe, Matt Prewitt and Bill Wisenor.

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Honor guard at Monday’s Memorial Day dedication were (L-R) Mick Hanson, Ben Paul, Lucky Gallegos, John Raynor, Eric Brimmer, Bryan Lowe, Matt Prewitt and Bill Wisenor.

 

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Honor guard at Monday’s Memorial Day dedication were (L-R) Mick Hanson, Ben Paul, Lucky Gallegos, John Raynor, Eric Brimmer, Bryan Lowe, Matt Prewitt and Bill Wisenor.

The hour-and-45-minute commemoration included a 21-gun salute, presentations of certificates of appreciation and meritorious service for those who helped with the memorial, and gifts of Quilts of Valor to 11 local veterans.

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Nearly 200 people attended Monday’s Memorial Day dedication of the White Bird Veterans Memorial Park. Here following the ceremony, two unidentified men shake hands by one of two ceremonial flames recently installed at the memorial. More work is planned at the site, set for tentative completion for Memorial Day 2020.

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