The old community building in Center Junction was packed as the surrounding community came together to honor their veterans and their past.
With the wall behind covered in the faces of Center Junction veterans of the past, they took time to honor those that served their country.
“It really is my honor to be here with you this afternoon and see a project like this one that has come to life and is truly the definition of honoring our veterans,” Anamosa VFW Commander Becky DirksHaugsted said.
She thanked Carolyn Barnes, who spearheaded the project, and everyone else who had a hand in making the memorial come to fruition.
“It is an absolute blessing to have people like them to honor our veterans,” she said.
DirksHaugsted said the opposite wall, which celebrates the old Center Junction school, was a reflection of each other with many of the same faces looking across the room. She said it reminded her that many of the people on the veterans wall reflected the fact that many veterans followed in their relatives footprints.
Center Junction resident, DJ Smith, talked about that and the conversations he had with his father about his time in the service. For most of his life, his father never talked about his service, at least until he approached the end of his life. It was then that Smith learned his father, a Marine, fought in the Pacific Theater and was among the first group to land on Iwo Jima.
“He said that was the lucky group because they let that group come in. It was the second and third group they unloaded all the ammunition on,” he said.
At the end of the ceremony, a short moment of silence was held for the veterans before enjoying a meal and taking in the memorial. Barnes thanked everyone in attendance for coming out to support the project.