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A Great Tribute

Editorial for Aug. 19, 2010

Bravo to all those working on the planned military Walk of Honor that is about to see ground-breaking at the White Salmon Cemetery on Snowden Road.

The project calls for a "V"-shaped, eight-foot wide concrete walkway that will feature two legs -- each about 200 feet long. A nine-foot tall monument rock will be placed at the center of the "V," with an American flag flying behind the rock.

The walkway will honor any resident or former resident of Klickitat County who served in any branch of the military and was honorably discharged. Veterans or their families will be able to purchase bronze plaques to be placed in the walkway to honor them after they have passed away. The plaques will include the name, branch of service, dates of service, and rank of the veteran.

Husum resident Jerry Smith, an Army veteran who served with the 10th Infantry in the late 1950s, conceived and designed the planned walkway. He has been working on this concept for more than a year. Fellow Husum area resident George Mersereau is helping to coordinate the construction work that will be required, and there are a number of others engaged in putting energy into making this plan a reality.

Among those actively involved are the American Legion posts in both White Salmon and Goldendale. The posts are supporting the project with some funding, and will be an active participant in the dedication in the fall. Also, the Klickitat County Cemetery District No. 1 Board of Commissioners have offered close cooperation and support.

In addition, with the cost of the project estimated to be approximately $30,000, a number of individuals, businesses, and service organizations are assisting with contributions and donations. For instance, James Dean Construction is donating the massive, five-sided rock that will be an integral part of the display; and Pilot Knob Construction will donate the manpower and equipment necessary to haul the rock to the cemetery and put it into place.

Organizers hope to complete the Walk of Honor by early October.

Those in the military who have served our nation so well in times of crisis -- and who have made so many sacrifices for all of us and for our nation's greater good -- cannot be honored enough.

This visual tribute will be a wonderful way to honor the many veterans who live or have lived in Klickitat County. Everyone involved in this -- and Jerry Smith in particular -- deserves our appreciation and our support for their efforts to create this memorial.

Those wishing to contribute to this noble project are invited to call Jerry Smith at 493-1934 or (541) 806-0711.

JB

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