World War II memorial dedication scheduled for Saturday

More than 700 commemorative bricks have been put in place by volunteers this past month in preparation of the World War II memorial at Veterans Park, Central and Greenway.

Although the dedication won’t officially begin until 11 a.m. Saturday, people are encouraged to arrive at Saturday’s event early. The Prairie Rose Rangers will begin playing music at 10:40 a.m.

The commemorative bricks honor World War II veterans and pave a walkway leading to the memorial – two 6-foot-tall, 8-inch-thick granite panels. The bricks were sold at $100 each to help raise funds for the $35,000 project.

According to Ted Ayers, head of World War Memorial Inc., the group is hopeful more people will want to order the bricks. Ideally, they would like to place another 250 bricks in an additional walkway.

The bricks are engraved with a World War II veteran’s name, branch of service, theater of operation and dates of service. The sale of the bricks will bring in more money than will be needed for the project, but the additional money will be used to maintain the memorial.

The project has been nicknamed “Operation Kilroy,” after the famed cryptic drawing of a bald-headed man poking his long nose over a wall next to the inscription “Kilroy was here.” The drawing was like graffiti and placed all over the nation, and in war theaters in World War II. The drawing is engraved on the back of one of the memorial’s panels.

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