POLK COUNTY -- Local veterans want to ensure those who can't make the national World War II memorial unveiling in Washington D.C. are not left behind.
Polk County could have its own monumental ceremony Saturday, May 29, to coincide with the national celebration.
It all depends on local support.
The Dallas American Legion post has started a fund drive to raise more than $2,600 for plaques honoring each military branch, the merchant marines and those who helped the war effort on the home front. Each bronze 1-by-2-foot plaque would bear the branch's name and insignia.
The plaques would join the existing one dedicated Nov. 11, 2000 "to all veterans who answered the call" on the cement wall in front of the Polk County Courthouse. The May 29 dedication would feature a member of each unit, said Nick Nichols, commander of American Legion Carl B. Fenton post 20.
The Polk County Board of Commissioners agreed to install the plaques at no charge.
Commissioner Ron Dodge said he plans to donate some of his own money to the cause. He said the plans would complement the changes to the courtyard over the last few years.
"It's going to be a neat deal," Dodge said. "I'm really proud of those guys."
The post already has started mailing requests to its members. Nichols said he hopes this effort will attract new recruits to the American Legion, especially those who served after World War II.
"We need new blood in there," he said. "Hopefully something like this will get more interest in the Legion."
More information is available by calling Jack Magnuson at 503-623-5246 or Nichols at 503-623-6756.