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Committee plans for Dawson veteran's memorial dedication on Saturday

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 5:18 p.m.
Karl Polacek | Daily Courier
Members of the veterans memorial committee in Dawson stand before the new addition. They are (front row, from left) Sandy Newell, Claudia Hiles, Bertha Hess and Roy Hess; (back row, from left) Sandra Rimel, Patty Lint, Jay Nelson and John Pyda. The new memorial will be dedicated on Saturday.

Work to refurbish the veterans memorial on Main Street in Dawson, begun in October 2010 as an attempt to refurbish two memorial tablets listing veterans from World War I and World War II, has expanded.

At 11 a.m. Saturday, the community will dedicate the new memorial honoring veterans from not only the world wars but the Vietnam and Korean wars as well as the Cold War.

Roy Hess, a co-chairman of the planning committee, said a third tablet listing the additional veterans had to be added to the plans.

Members of the monument planning committee along with Hess are Andy Ansell, Pastor David Bell, Bertha Hess, Claudia Hiles, Lori Lamanna, Patty Lint, Jay Nelson, Sandy Newell, co-chairman John Pyda and Sandra Rimel.

The group is still raising funds for the memorial, but Hess said those providing services, such as Sandzimier Memorials, the company that made the memorial, are working with the group.

Most of the money has been raised.

Hess said the planning committee received only one grant for $250 from the Community Foundation of Fayette County.

On Saturday, Rolling Thunder and the Vietnam Veterans of Fayette County, who will provide the honor guard, will attend the ceremony. The keynote speaker will be Maj. Gen. Robert French, who is from Lower Tyrone Township and whose name is on the new tablet.

At least 10 or 11 World War II veterans are also expected to attend.

Only one member of the planning committee, Bell, is a veteran. He has since been transferred to a distant church and will not be available for the dedication. Bell is a Vietnam War veteran who has a Purple Heart.

Hess said the ceremony will go on, even if the weather does not cooperate.

Pyda has been taking care of the monument grounds. He inherited the job from his father-in-law, James “Zeb” Turney, who was commander of the American Legion Post in Dawson for 25 years. The post no linger exists. The monument now stands on the site.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at kpolacek@tribweb.com or 724-626-3538.

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