SPRING HILL, Kan. — On Veterans Day, we take time to recognize the men and women who’ve fought for our country. Some are still with us, others in spirit.
Communities across the Kansas City metro are showing their support for those who’ve served. In Spring Hill, they’re making a permanent display of appreciation.
The Johnson County city has created a new Veterans Memorial Plaza and is holding a dedication ceremony Saturday.
The final touches: Crews were putting in a new plaque at the plaza.
“We’ve tried to honor each branch of the military here,” Spring Hill City Councilman Chip VanHouden said.
You can find each branch of the military’s creed on a plaque.
Veteran Lee Borgelt calls the memorial impressive. He and the American Legion Post 350 worked together to bring some of these ideas to life.
“Well, I hope they feel like I do — that it’s an honor and the sacrifice that’s been given for our country,” Borgelt said. “And it’s just really solemn when you look at the memorials and read the plaques. It’s very touching.”
This project has been nearly two years in the making.
Spring Hill Mayor Joe Berkey said this project cost about $1 million. Donors helped make it happen.
“I feel like we owe everything to veterans,” Berkey said, “to those that have gone before us, who have laid down their life and sacrificed and served, and so I thought it was really important to honor that.”
The city hopes people from all over will visit this memorial. It’s open to the public — so is the dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday.
In Lenexa, the Olathe Northwest High School band played patriotic music. Johnson County honored veterans from all armed forces for their military service.
Veteran Rick McKenna shared a message for young people this Veterans Day.
“I had the opportunity to travel all over the world, and I’ve seen third world countries,” McKenna said. “There is no freer country in the world than the United States of America, so I’m hopeful those influences, those teachers, those parents, tell our children that hey, this is worth fighting for when we need to.”
The back of granite pillars at Veterans Park in Spring Hill are blank. The city hasn’t decided what to put on them yet. The mayor said in the future, they could honor veterans by writing their names.