Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Kimball proudly honors veterans with permanent memorial


August 30, 2018

Tonia Copeland/Western Nebraska Observer

Flags fly at the new veteran's memorial in Kimball's Gotte Park following the dedication ceremony on Monday, Aug. 27, though they will remain at half-staff until the late Senator John McCain III is buried. Turn to page 8 for more photos.

Flags fly high at Kimball's Gotte Park with the completion of phase one of the Veteran's Memorial, a project two years in the making.

On Monday, Aug. 27, citizens gathered with community leaders, local scouts, and representatives from Francis E. Warren Air Force Base of Cheyenne, Wyo., as well as Carol Brehm, a representative of ACE (Alliance for Community Energy).

Nearly $8,000 in ACE returns were used to complete the first phase of this project, which include ground breaking, a concrete base, one 30 foot flag pole and six 25 foot poles as well as the flags that now grace the park.

"It is events like this that really underscores what ACE is really all about. Now in its 20th year, I can say ACE has been a success to its Nebraska communities," Brehm said. "Through ACE's revenue return program, ACE has returned $2 million into Nebraska communities to fund community projects such as playgrounds, parks and youth programs. Congratulations on a very fitting project, honoring our military men and women."

United State Air Force Lieutenant Colonel George L. "Ripper" Chapman, Commander of the 320th Missile Squadron added, "Kimball is a very special community. As we were driving into Kimball, the streets are just lined with American flags. I asked my flight commander, 'Why do they have all the flags out?' and he responded to me, 'Because its America, Sir.'"

Local girl scouts, Dakota Vrbas and Grace Moore raised the United States flag with the assistance of troop leader Amira Moore. Boy Scout Troop leader Jon Shepard assisted local scout Parker Kudebeh in the raising of the Nebraska State flag.

Veterans from Kimball County raised flags representing the United State Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.

Tonia Copeland/Western Nebraska Observer

"It is a pleasure to be out here and I am very grateful to have been extended the invitation," Chapman said. "The dedication and the flagpoles you have set up to honor your veterans is very telling of this community. Those flags represent something to people, and behind each of those flags represents individuals who served their country for a cause that was greater than themselves."

Phase two will include memorial bricks that can be purchased to lay in the v-shape semi-circle made by the poles.

"People can by bricks with a veterans name engraved on them," Prunty said. "Phase three would be a kiosk, similar to the one at the cemetery, with the information of any veteran, past or present, in the County of Kimball. You can have a picture, commendations, and other information for a nominal fee."

Prunty added that there would eventually be a gazebo covering the kiosk at the park as well.


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