Remaining bricks placed in time for dedication ceremony

The Keokuk County Freedom Rock located next to the historic Opera House in What Cheer will host its dedication ceremony on September 17 at 1:30 p.m. 

            On about any given day, City Clerk Melanie Vermillion can be found at the base of the Keokuk County Freedom Rock doing final touches to prepare for the dedication ceremony that will be held on September 17 at 1:30 p.m. With the remaining veteran bricks in place, the total number of Keokuk County veterans represented now stands at 648, with an additional 84 pavers along the sidewalk showing project support from local community members and businesses as well as a special paver in memory of Sgt. Eric Stein from the What Cheer Lions Club.

            “Nutz Graphics is finalizing the information boards which will be put into place. They will not be put up before the ceremony but they will lay on a table for people to see them,” Vermillion commented.

            Vermillion spent the weekend filling in the columns and will continue this week with painting them. For her and many members of the committee, the Keokuk County Freedom Rock holds a special place with them and they have spent countless volunteer hours making sure that everything is ready for the dedication, including the placing of the bricks and the two new benches as well as planting the flowers.

            “This rock is something the entire county should be proud of. It dictates the lives of those who fought for our freedom,” Vermillion states as she talks about the rock that is part of the tour of rocks. Only one rock is placed in each county, and What Cheer was lucky enough to get the home for Keokuk County.

            The dedication ceremony will begin in the Historic Opera House on September 17 at 1:30 p.m. with speakers from the Iowa Army National Guard, a special veteran tribute song from Gary Van Patten, prayer by Pastor Vince Homan and will conclude outdoors with a presentation from the Keswick Legion. This event will be held rain or shine.