The dedication of the new World War Two Memorial this weekend has sparked an excitement among the Iowans who served. Iowa veterans who served in World War Two have gathered in small towns and large throughout the state over the years to play the old songs and remember those who served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. But they’ve never had a national memorial to their effort. It took 60 years from the time the landings at Normandy that started the end to the war, and 10 years since plans for the memorial itself got underway, to make it become a reality. Iowa American Legion Commander John Ross isn’t sure what caused the delay, but says part of it is that we just forgot about the war. He says it’s awfully easy to forget unless you happen to have been one of them that was there. Ross, who served near the tail end of World War Two and in the Korean war, has seen the memorial. He says it has reflecting pool in front, and then a series of columns dedicated to the different areas of World War Two. Each one of the columns has a wreath. He calls it “just a gourgeous memorial.” The dedication of the World War Two memorial comes at a time when interest in the war is surging. Ross says the attacks of September 11th have helped refocus the nation on the sacrafice made by the young men and women who fought the war. Ross says the veterans he knows are thrilled to finally see their memorial become a reality, and he calls it long overdue. He says they were “the greatest generation” , and we owe a lot to them. Ross, who’s from Osage, hopes the memorial reminds generations into the future of the things the veterans did, and he hopes all Iowans continue remembering the veterans. Ross says sometimes when we leave the cemetery and the parade is over, we forget about the veterans. Ross says that’s not right and veterans should be remembered every day. He says you should thank a veteran, that’s all they ask, just for a thank-you.
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