Community dedicates sculpture, new additions as Holdrege Veterans Memorial expands
HOLDREGE, Neb. — Year by year, the Holdrege Veterans Memorial continues to grow.
One year ago it debuted as a series of tablets displaying the names of Phelps County veterans. This Veterans Day, the community gathered to dedicate phase two of the memorial. Major Mark Kraus is the committee co-chair and serves in the Marine Corps Reserve.
“I’m blown away that we’ve been able to do what we’ve done in such a short period of time," Kraus said. "From initial idea conception, to last year at dedicating, this year adding all these additional features. It’s 100% from the community support, those organizations, those people that have brought it together and made this work.”
The new features include 100 additional names engraved on the tablets, four benches, and a sculpture titled “Never Forgotten” created by Holdrege natives George and Mark Lundeen.
“We wanted to make something that was inspirational," Lundeen said. "It’s very humbling to create something like this. We wanted to do something that was powerful yet calming.”
The sculpture isn’t the final touch to the park. Soon, the committee hopes to add more tablets with more names of local veterans.
“We’re not done," Kraus said. "As long as we have a country to defend and veterans to honor, we’re going to continue to evolve this. We’re going to continue to make this entire park experience something worthy of the name Veterans Memorial Park.”
And much like they did on a bitterly cold morning Friday, Kraus trusts that locals will turn out for fundraising.
“You know, I know Americans love their veterans, but those residents of Holdrege and Phelps County love them even more than I could imagine,” Kraus said.