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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Memorial to be dedicated

  • Thursday will mark the seventh anniversary of the death of Cpl. David Unger, who was killed while serving in Iraq.
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  • Thursday will mark the seventh anniversary of the death of Cpl. David Unger, who was killed while serving in Iraq.
    And that day was chosen for the dedication of a memorial that will honor Unger and all other veterans.
    The dedication ceremony for the Leavenworth Veterans Memorial is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday. The memorial is located near the main entrance to the Eisenhower VA Medical Center, 4101 S. Fourth St.
    Unger's mother, Diana Pitts, serves as chairwoman for the committee that has raised the money to erect the memorial.
    "It is a veterans memorial," she said. "It is not a war memorial."
    Pitts said the decision to construct the memorial came after she was asked where something a battlefield cross honoring her son would be placed. Initially, it was thought that it would be placed at the local veterans memorial. But Pitts said there wasn't one.
    "So that's how it started," she said.
    Fundraising for the memorial began in 2008.
    Pitts said about $70,000 has been raised for the memorial so far. She said a lot of the work required for the memorial has been provided through in-kind donations.
    The committee has money left over, but the group's work is not completed. There are plans for a second phase of the memorial.
    Pitts said she kept looking for dates related to veterans or the military for scheduling the dedication ceremony. One of her friends recommended Thursday's date.
    The dedication ceremony will include a ribbon cutting for the memorial.
    Pitts said the memorial will be turned over to the VA during the ceremony.
    "They'll take that portion over," she said.
    The first phase includes granite pieces as well as battlefield crosses, or soldier's crosses.
    "It's looks amazing," Pitts said.
    The second phase will feature panels with the names of veterans.
    "We're trying to accommodate as many veterans' names as we can in the area we've been given," Pitts said.

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