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Tenino Veterans Memorial Taking Shape Ahead of Dedication Ceremony

The Chronicle - 11/1/2018

Nov. 01--Hundreds of people are expected to crowd into a small portion of the Tenino City Park for an hour or so on Nov. 11 to witness the dedication of a new veterans' memorial featuring the names of local veterans killed in action going back to World War I.

Sandstone carvings depicting the intersection of industry and wartime in Tenino will be inlaid within the stone retaining wall. The wall is being installed on either side of a staircase leading up to a monument with a gold star and the names of those lost overseas.

The dedication ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Nov. 11 and will include remarks by U.S. Rep Denny Heck (D-WA 10th District) and U.S. Army Lieutenant General Gary Volesky from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Graduates of Tenino High School who subsequently joined the military going back to the late 1990s will also be in attendance.

"It feels good and honestly it's pretty exciting to see this through," Tenino Mayor Wayne Fournier said. "We're dedicating the memorial to those who have given their lives in service of the country, but also want to highlight those who have done great things for their country through their service. We don't want to just talk about the sad aspects of military service, but also focus on the reciprocal benefits Tenino has had with the military. That's kind of what the whole monument is about."

Frank Hicks, a veteran of the Vietnam War and the Commander of VFW Post 5878, clutched a copy of a newspaper from November 2015 while walking through the construction site on Wednesday. The front page showed a photo of the old Wall of Honor listing Tenino residents that fought in World War II.

That memorial came down decades ago and was the impetus for the VFW starting a push for a replacement that the city eventually took the reins on.

"At some point, we still hope to do the honor roll," Hicks said. "Citizens here wanted to do more to redo that, effort that went into the quarry pool. We'd still like to see that part of our history come back."

A section of Tenino's history will be reflected in the new memorial by way of a four-part series of sandstone carvings along the walkway.

The first will show a man swinging a hammer. The next one depicts people laying down their tools to pick up arms for battle, followed by one showing those people laying down their arms in favor of those tools. The final frame shows a woman jumping into the quarry pool.

"Those carvings are going to tell the story of the war efforts and their effect on industry in Tenino," Fournier said. "Everything is really coming together in a good way."

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(c)2018 The Chronicle (Centralia, Wash.)

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