English Valleys dedicates Veterans Memorial

The new memorial located in North English was officaially dedicated on November 11 as part of a Veteran's Day ceremony. The memorial had been a work in progress for just over two years and construction finally wrapped up in late October.

A project that was in the works for over two years finally came to completion on November 11 in North English. The community gathered in the Performing Arts Gym at English Valleys High to commemorate the area’s veterans and remember those that had given their service and died during combat or died after serving.

                In 2016 a committee was formed consisting mostly of Scott & Bonnie Romine in addition to several citizens who were interested in establishing a memorial to dedicate the area’s veterans. The committee believed those men and women hadn’t been recognized or honored sufficiently for their sacrifices made. Architectural designs were drawn up and collected later that year and funding matters were brought up in early 2017. Over $175,000 was steadily brought in from over 450 donors to make the project a success.

                In the early summer months of this year, construction finally began, and the design ideas finally started taking physical shape in town. The flagpoles arrived along with the eagle sculpture in early October and the building process was finally complete later that month. Included within the memorial are two walls of black granite. One wall has each of the five branches shields and the other wall has four cases of veterans’ names and one case with a list of donors who contributed to the project.

                The memorial was officially dedicated on November 11, Veteran’s Day, in honor of the Armistice that ended World War I in 1918. Many veterans were in the crowd inside the gym where hundreds gathered for the ceremony. Various speakers including Amelia Koehn (graduate of EV), Jennifer Olson (Iowa County Veterans Commission) and Pastor Edwin Jordan addressed the crowd.

                Each one of them touched on the various aspects of Veteran’s Day and remembering those that had passed in protecting our country. They also mentioned how we, as a community and a nation, need to stick together and still be a “bright star on the hill of the world.” They emphasized the importance of playing a role even on the smallest level and to make sure the new memorial would stand for many years to come. The memorial committee was recognized, and the Romine’s were called up and awarded a plaque for their hard work and effort they’d put into making the memorial a possibility.

                The ceremony concluded with “God Bless America” followed by “Taps”. Those in attendance filed out and several made their way down to see the new memorial, located on Main Street, nearby the Malt Shop and the Community Center.