RANGELY I Hefley Park renovations are on schedule for a Veterans Day dedication Tuesday of Rangely’s “Sacrifice and Resolution” sculpture, Western Rio Blanco Metropolitan (WRBM) Executive Director Tim Webber said Monday.
Irrigation line and sprinkler system work is complete, with sod installation scheduled to finish up following several wet days earlier this week, Webber said. The veterans memorial park will also have concrete walkways and upgraded, ADA-compliant bathrooms.
At the heart of the memorial itself—no mere metaphor, as the sculpture’s pedestal literally rests on a large, concrete purple heart reminiscent of the military decoration—flagpoles have been installed and wiring for lighting is complete.
Rocks have been placed around the memorial, metal benches will be installed on concrete pads this week and the pedestal itself features finished stonework.
In the last week, workers mounted plaques recognizing each of the five branches of service on the pedestal, with sculpture installation likely to happen late this week, according to Rangely Town Manager Peter Brixius. Meeker sculptor John Kobold, who created “Sacrifice and Resolution,” will help orient the piece on the base, Brixius said.
County Capital Improvement Trust Fund (CCITF) and WRBM general fund dollars have largely paid for the park upgrades. Meeker Sand and Gravel, Ducey’s Electric, Grand Junction’s Mays Concrete, the Town of Rangely and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) have donated material, funding or labor for the memorial itself.
At the Veterans Day dedication, to be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, servicemen Corky Powell, Jr. and George Smitman will speak, with VFW Veterans Service Officer John “Hoot” Gibson conducting the ceremony. Children from Parkview Elementary School will also attend and lead the Pledge of Allegiance, Rangely Area Chamber of Commerce Director Kristin Steele said.
The memorial and the event honor the first soldiers who garrisoned Rio Blanco County, along with men and women of all ranks and service who have served in the Armed Forces up to and through current conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
Everyone is invited to attend.
“It’s been a community effort to get this done, and it’s certainly open to the entire community,” Gibson said.
Kobold’s sculpture, like the identical piece unveiled on the Meeker courthouse lawn on July 4, 2013, is a 1-1/4 life-sized bronze of a modern-day infantryman. The project was a joint venture between the Rangely and Meeker VFW posts, which raised more than $120,000 in cash and in-kind donations for the art and memorials.