As employees of the Leavenworth VA hospital arrive at work, they'll have a new reminder of what their mission is all about, the hospital's director said.
That's because the Leavenworth Veterans Memorial now stands on the grounds of the Eisenhower VA Medical Center.
"This is about honoring our veterans and honoring the sacrifices of individuals," A. Rudy Klopfer said.
Klopfer is the director of the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, which includes the Leavenworth hospital.
The memorial, which is located near the hospital's main entrance, was dedicated during a ceremony Thursday afternoon. The ceremony included a ribbon cutting for the memorial.
"This memorial is going to last a lifetime," Klopfer said.
Money to erect the memorial was raised by a private committee. But the memorial has been turned over to the VA.
"We have had numerous fundraisers," said Diana Pitts, chairwoman for the committee that raised the money for the memorial.
Thursday's ceremony was held on the seventh anniversary of the death of Pitts' son, Cpl. David Unger. He was killed while serving in Iraq.
Battlefield crosses for Unger and several other fallen members of the armed forces are part of the Leavenworth Veterans Memorial.
The memorial is located near the VA hospital's volunteer services center.
Elliott Kidd, director of volunteer services, said during the past few weeks, he has looked forward to seeing the progress of the memorial.
Kidd said he hopes the memorial will be a constant reminder that veterans have made a difference and freedom is not free.
Only the first phase of the memorial has been completed. The second phase will feature panels with the names of veterans.