A lasting legacy has been built

This coming Veteran’s Day the community, the county, in fact the whole state, should be proud of the U.S. Armed Forces Legacy Memorial built by volunteers in Tonasket. It’s a memorial to our veterans that rivals many of those in much larger municipalities.

For those visiting the memorial for the first time it truly inspires – if one tight knit community can do this, the possibilities are endless. It draws out our emotions – remember those family members and friends who served to preserve our rights. Rights like freedom of speech and religion, the right to cast our vote, to peaceably assemble, to be safe in our person and property.

The Legacy Memorial has become an emotional, inspiring and practical monument. It is more than just basalt columns, the American Flag and names on the wall — although taken together that’s a lot. With the opening of the new building at the site veterans have more convenient access to the Veterans Service officer, there’s a place to meet and a library. Next the group is working on a bridge to better connect the community with the memorial – George’s Bridge as Roger Castelda dubbed it at the Dinner Auction fundraiser at the Eagles last Saturday. George Frank, who an emotional Castelda credited with coming up with a plan for a memorial six years ago.

Legacy Memorial in Tonasket

U.S. Armed Forces Legacy Memorial in Tonasket.

We wonder if anyone could have imagined in those early days just how successful a small, but determined group of volunteers could be?

We can’t build enough memorials to our veterans for what they’ve done for us all. We can just thank them and make sure our leaders only put them in harms way for the most vital of reasons.

The Legacy Project is a fitting memorial to all our veterans on their day. But as James E. Koutz,

National Commander of The American Legion, writes on this page this week, every day should be Veteran’s Day.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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