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Back in its place of honor

Monument to Korea, Vietnam vets is restored in Keedysville

Monument to Korea, Vietnam vets is restored in Keedysville

August 27, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

KEEDYSVILLE - Taking time out from all of the activities Saturday at the Keedysville Ruritan Club Festival, town resident Laurel McFarland paused for moment at the newly restored monument honoring Vietnam and Korean war veterans.

"I'm delighted that it's back," McFarland said, noting there are Korean War veterans in her family.

But even more, she expressed her pride in the efforts of the Keedysville Ruritan Club to restore the memorial to its original condition after vandals did a lot of damage several years ago.

"The Keedysville Ruritan Club does wonderful things," McFarland said.

Those words made Ruritan member Robert Merrell feel a lot better, since a planned ceremony to rededicate the monument didn't occur as planned.

"Call it miscommunication or technical difficulties, the ceremony isn't going to happen," Merrell said, obviously disappointed.

A member of the Ruritan citizenship/patriotism committee, Merrell said the club had been in possession of the sundial, which had been torn from the stone memorial by the vandals.

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The club decided to purchase a new plaque and have the stonework on the 3-foot tall memorial repaired. The sundial then was reattached.

The new bronze plaque reads, "This memorial is dedicated in honor and memory of all our veterans who served in Korea and Vietnam. May God bless them all."

J.R. Eckstine, who was born and raised in Keedysville, stopped by to look at the memorial. A veteran of the Vietnam era, Eckstine described the monument as very pleasing.

"My dad's name, Winfred Eckstine, is on the World War II memorial here," he said. "And my grandfather, Bertram Swain, who was a bugle boy in World War I, is on the monument in Sharpsburg."

A Korean War Air Force veteran, H. Allen Gamblin of Keedysville said he, too, was happy to see the monument restored.

The all-day festival featured games for children, and music by the Rohrersville Band, Boonsboro Strings and Mount Nebo Gospel Singers.

Country ham, soups, pies, hamburgers, hot dogs and roast beef were available for sale.

Proceeds will go toward scholarships for Boonsboro area students.

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