Relocated veterans memorial rejuvenates Liberty Cemetery

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LIBERTY, Mo. -- Veterans Day is spent honoring soldiers with a permanent monument.

A new home for a popular veteran's memorial was unveiled, and with it, a metro cemetery completes its recovery from vandalism.

The observance of Veterans Day pays tribute to the departed, but on this holiday, the Fairview Cemetery was the new home to the Liberty Veterans Memorial. Local veterans groups recently moved it across town.

The idea to decorate the memorial with new flagpoles came from Truman High School Student, Corey Briggs. He asked community groups for the money to purchase and install flags honoring all branches of the US Military. Briggs has been in scouting for six years, and the project earned Briggs his Eagle badge.

"This wasn't all on my own," Briggs said. "It was a lot of work. I worked hard for it and it paid off."

In 2009, vandals made a mess of this cemetery, toppling over more than 200 headstones, some of which dated back to the Civil War.

Retired Air Force Officer, Leroy Coe, volunteers with the local American Legion post, and said this monument is another step toward recovery.

"We hardly invested any money, but we invested a lot of labor," Coe said.

Maj. Andrew Turnbow served in the same outfit as Sgt. Trenton Rhea, a Liberty native who was killed in may while fighting in Afghanistan.

"It's fantastic to see what this city is doing for him," Turnbow said. "It's humbling. It really is."

"Things are getting better," Briggs said. "We're respecting them with this."

The project was accomplished using donations from a community that cares.

Three teenagers were arrested for overturning those tombstones back in 2009. Liberty's mayor, Lyndell Brenton, proclaimed Tuesday as "Sgt. Trenton Rhea Day" in that city.

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