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Sun Shines on Those Remembering Fallen Soldiers
Karen Nelson and Aly Wepplo joined four men carrying the Battlefield Cross to its station.
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Tuesday, May 30, 2023


Memorial Day is a special day for Sharon Grosvenor. But it’s a solemn day, nevertheless.

Grosvenor, of Hailey, lived in Newport Beach, Calif., during the Vietnam War and so she saw hundreds of young American soldiers ship out to Vietnam.

“Many did not come back,” she said.

Geegee Lowe and others put their hands on their heart as the colors were presented.

Grosvenor bought two poppies in their honor and staked out a seat on the front row as she and hundreds of other Wood River Valley residents paid tribute those men and others at the Hailey Cemetery Memorial Day Cemetery.

“We have come together to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” said Geegee Lowe, who helped organize and emcee the event. “We have 442 known veterans in this cemetery and we have the responsibility to our vets to uphold the freedoms they fought for.”

Six men and women bearers placed the Battlefield Cross, a wooden sculpture featuring combat boots and a helmet atop a bayonetted rifle next to the Veterans Memorial Stone. The sculpture, made by Bellevue sculptor and veteran Glenn Carter,  hearkens to the Civil War when people would mark the fallen by sticking their bayonet into the ground and placing their helmets on top. The practice continued through World War I, said Lowe.

Hearts thrilled to a flyover by four A10 Warthog Thunderbolts from Mountain Home Air Force Base, once called tank killers for their ability to maneuver near ground at slower speeds, while a few tears were shed as Mountain Home Air Force Base Honor Guard and the Idaho Army National Guard fired a 21-gun salute and played “Taps.”

Two dozen members of the Caritas Chorale provided music for the ceremony.

The crowd was told of the USS Idaho fast-attack, nuclear-power submarine being built in Connecticut. When finished, the 377-foot-long submarine will carry missiles and torpedoes, gather intelligence and deploy special forces.

The sections have been welded and the interior is getting decked out. It will be commissioned with water that crew members collected at Redfish Lake and Lake Pond Oreille, rather than the traditional champagne christening.

The last ship carrying the name Idaho was a battleship present at Japan’s surrender more than 75 years ago.

Kate Dobie, executive director of the Higher Ground Sun Valley, noted that those attending the ceremony were fortunate to live in “this beautiful valley” on a daily basis.

At least one audience member sang along to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Higher Ground brings veterans to Sun Valley to heal from the beauty inherent in the valley and the therapeutic recreation program the organization provides. Higher Ground has served over 2,500 veterans nationwide in its nearly 25-years history, she said.

“We try to honor the fallen at Higher Ground every day, but we also know it’s important to pay it forward,” she said. We go into the schools, talk to the kids… if you know a veteran who needs support of community, a sense of belonging, reach out to us.”

The Memorial Wreath added one more touch of red, white and blue to a cemetery already festooned with tiny American flags.

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