Fountain of Honor Dedication (2011)
By Katy Nesbitt and Angelika Ursula Dietrich
ENTERPRISE, Ore (July 12, 2011) — Former Commissioner Ben Boswell’s ten-year old dream of a memorial recognizing all veterans displayed on the Wallowa County Courthouse lawn became a reality this week as the finishing touches were put on the Fountain of Honor, set to be dedicated Saturday during the Bowlby Bash in Enterprise.
Preparations were in the last stages for the dedication. Artist Steve Parks’ bronze eagle had arrived Tuesday morning to be assembled on top of its bronzed stone base at the center of the fountain’s granite enclosure. Casey Russell of Miller Plumbing lowered himself into the base of the fountain to connect the fittings.
Over the weekend, John Hillock wired lights and outlets, county commissioner Susan Roberts said. Bill Bronson of Bronson Lumber hoisted the eagle and gently lowered it in place with the aid of his boom truck as Parks, Parks’ son Ian, and Terri Bronson helped guide it into place.
Roberts said the first meeting to plan the site was held seven years ago. In 2009 the county received a 75 percent Oregon Parks and Recreation Veterans and War Memorial grant for $85,826. She said $6,000 more is needed to finish paying for the memorial and during the dedication ceremony, Cody Lathrop is offering his combat boot to be used to accept donations. Lathrop was wounded in action in Iraq.
The dedication could not have been more glorious. Hundreds of people attended an emotional dedication of the “Fountain of Honor” under a blue sky on July 9, in Enterprise.
Former United States Marine and Wallowa County Commissioner Susan Roberts welcomed everyone to the ceremony and reminded the community of the long journey the Fountain of Honor has had, since its development out of a concept between former Commissioner Ben Boswell and Robert’s brother Everett Roberts who drew a picture of the idea.
Everett said in his speech, to remember that there are so many who served this country and the community who are not here today for this dedication, because they paid the ultimate price. He said, this monument is not only for them, but for every other American who has worn a uniform including the Merchant Marines.
Americans enjoy their freedoms today because of the selflessness honor of fellow citizens who are willing to leave beautiful Wallowa County and their country to serve their neighbors.