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Veterans Park to honor Purple Heart recipients

Park president will speak at Sunday ceremony

DIXON – A Dixon veteran and family were looking for a way to say thank you to soldiers wounded in battle.

That family will make an anonymous donation of a marble stone memorial dedicated to Purple Heart recipients Sunday at Veterans Memorial Park in Dixon.

A dedication ceremony will take place after the city’s Veterans Day ceremony, set for 11 a.m. at the park. Jim James, Veterans Park president, will speak.

“It’s tremendous how much support our community has given to this park in honor of our veterans,” said Ernest Lindgren, a Veterans Park volunteer. “This park has come together through donations and volunteers, and this is another example.”

The approximately 4-foot-wide, 1-foot-thick stone will feature a Purple Heart emblem on its side and the saying:

“You have never lived until you have almost died for those who have fought for it. Life has a flavor the protected will never know. Thank you veterans for our country and freedom. God Bless America.”

Tom Bushman, quartermaster for VFW Post 540, said he has spread the word throughout the veterans community about the event but does not have a Purple Heart recipients scheduled to speak.

“I’m hoping by spreading the word as much as I can, it will attract veterans to our ceremony,” Bushman said.

Those interested can call Bushman at 815-440-3054.

Maj. Gen. Kendall Penn, deputy commanding general of the first army of the Rock Island Arsenal, will deliver the Veterans Day address. He was deployed to Baghdad twice as a member of the 39th Infantry Brigade.

Sunday's ceremony

DIXON – An unveiling of a Purple Heart monument, an honor guard by the combined veterans organizations, and a Marine Corps 21-gun salute are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, at Palmyra Road on the west edge of town.

Open houses will follow at Dixon VFW Post 540, 1560 Franklin Grove Road, and the American Legion Hall, 1120 W. First St.

Also Sunday, 10 percent of all proceeds at Culver's, 1317 N. Galena Ave., will be donated to the park.

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