Veterans memorial dedicated in Ridgefield

Crowd of 250 braves continuous rain Sunday

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

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RIDGEFIELD — In a show of community pride, an estimated 250 people stood in continuous rain for the Veterans Day dedication of the Ridgefield Veterans Memorial.

The five-column memorial contains the names of Ridgefield-area troops who gave their lives in combat, from the Spanish-American War to this day.

"They gave all of their tomorrows so we can have ours," said Bob Ford, adjutant of Ridgefield Post 44 of the American Legion.

Even the World War II dog Tubby of Ridgefield has his name engraved on a column. He died serving in Guam in World War II. Each 10.5-foot column is topped with a flag representing each branch of the service.

Ford called more than two dozen people up front to be recognized for their effort to bring the memorial to the Ridgefield Fire Department station on North Third Avenue. The idea was proposed three years ago to replace the former veterans memorial.

"This was a community of Ridgefield project," Ford said.

Post Commander Bruce Crockett, a Vietnam veteran, was the leader of the project. Volunteers and donated materials meant the $40,000 project cost about $8,700. Bricks are available to anyone for purchase and will be placed behind the memorial. Price is $100.

He noted four columns contain the names of the war dead. One column is reserved for a three-part motto:To be born free is an accident.To live free is a privilege.To die free is our responsibility.Mayor Ron Onslow thanked veterans, including many who wore their colors at the service.

"They never stop serving," Onslow said, noting that veterans are civic-minded.