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October 10, 2013

Groundbreaking set for Saturday for Operation Freedom Memorial

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Saturday for Operation Freedom Memorial, which is dedicated to Kansans who have died in the fight against terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Saturday for Operation Freedom Memorial, which is dedicated to Kansans who have died in the fight against terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001.

The event will take place at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, 339 N. Veterans Parkway, which is a short street along the Arkansas River that connects Central and Second northwest of downtown.

Anita Dixon, whose son, Army Sgt. Evan Parker, was killed in Iraq in 2005, has led the three-year grassroots effort to raise funds to get the memorial built. Cost of the project is about $225,000, including in-kind services, said John Wilson, executive vice president of the nonprofit established to build the memorial.

The memorial will include a bronze statue of a kneeling soldier and black granite panels, which will list all the names of Kansans killed. The number of dead now stands at 93.

The group hopes to begin putting in the foundation this month and finish the construction by early November, Wilson said.

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