Archive for Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Tonganoxie couple attend dedication

June 2, 2004

Larry Meadows took the trip for those who couldn't.

Meadows and his wife, Lois, attended Saturday's dedication of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

"I wanted those guys to go and they didn't feel like they were in the health to go," Meadows said of the 25 veterans of World War II who belong to the Tonganoxie VFW post.

Meadows, who served in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969, brought back a commemorative poster that he plans to frame and hang in the post home.

"I want the World War II veterans of our community to see this and to know more about what the government is doing to recognize them before they're gone," Meadows said.

The Veterans Affairs Department estimates that 1,056 veterans of the war are dying each day.

The memorial includes 4,000 stars, each representing 1,000 of the 405,339 Americans who died in the war. And the memorial also honors the 16 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed forces during World War II.

The Meadows arrived at the site at 9 a.m. Saturday. While waiting for the 2 p.m. dedication ceremony to begin, they shook hands with Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Donald Rumsfeld, Tom Brokaw and Tom Hanks.

"They came by and we just happened to be in the right spot," Meadows said.

And during Saturday's ceremony they had fairly good seats, about 200 feet from the stage.

The tickets to the dedication were free, said Meadows, who had received his tickets about six months ago.

Speakers included President George Bush, Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, news anchor and author Tom Brokaw and Tom Hanks, who has produced and starred in movies about World War II -- "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers."

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