Sharon Sullivan

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August 30, 2012
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Grand Junction WWII memorial to be dedicated on V-J Day

Japan signed surrender documents officially ending World War II on Sept. 2, 1945.World War II veterans, their friends and family, and other members of the community will commemorate that day Sunday, Sept. 2, when a new World War II memorial is unveiled at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado.The memorial project was commissioned by the Western Slope Honor Flight, a local nonprofit affiliated with the national organization, which flew World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorial built in their honor 60 years after their service.Thanks to donations, the WSHF charted five flights, sending a total of 530 Western Slope veterans to Washington. There, the elderly veterans and their "guardians" attended a whirlwind tour of the various memorials.The final flight took place last September."There was money left over from the last flight and we wanted to do something for all the vets on the Western Slope," WSHF board member Kathie Iles said. "There are a lot buried here."Carlson Memorial was commissioned to design a memorial, similar, but smaller than the national monument in Washington, D.C. "With completion of these flights the WSHF would like to recognize those WWII veterans that flew with them, and those who could not, by creating a memorial that will stand the length of time and honor those from our Greatest Generation for their sacrifice and service to this great nation," stated a WSHF press release.The program Sunday will include speeches by Congressman Scott Tipton, cemetery director Dick Gigliotti, and WSHF founder Kevin Wodlinger.There will be singing as well, of the national anthem and "God Bless of America."Parking will be available at the Grand Junction Regional Center in the northeast parking lot accessible from Riverside Parkway. A shuttle service will be provided from the nearby Grand Junction Regional Center where parking is plentiful.Organizers would like attendees to RSVP to Iles at 970-216-1743 as refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Kris Baugh at 970-986-2995.

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The Post Independent Updated Aug 30, 2012 07:28PM Published Aug 30, 2012 05:44PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.