Veterans monument dedicated at cemetery
The first person laid to rest in the cemetery at I 1/2 and 23 1/2 roads in 1896 was a veteran.
Forty-nine more veterans and at least 418 civilians have been buried since then in the historic Grand Valley cemetery, which has gone through the names Loback Cemetery, Appleton Cemetery and Crown Point Cemetery.
Saturday morning, veterans honored their own by dedicating a monument that solidifies the cemetery’s most recent moniker — Veterans Crown Point Cemetery. The stone structure, inscribed with the name and a brief history of the cemetery, was unveiled during an intimate ceremony at one of two main entrances to the grounds and christened with two cans of beer.
The Grand Junction Camp of the Al Packer Chapter of the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus purchased the monument from Snyder Memorials and organized the dedication ceremony. Members of the order and representatives from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1247, the Patriot Guard Riders, the Grand Valley Combined Honor Guard and the city of Grand Junction gathered at the ceremony to celebrate the new monument and the rejuvenation of the cemetery, which was unkempt for years but began to receive near-daily care from city grounds workers in 2009, according to ECV member and historian Gary Parrott. The city acquired the cemetery in 1982.
Parrott said after the ceremony that grants and a private benefactor helped bring the cemetery back to life. The manicured lawns and thick, groomed trees that shade the final resting place of nearly 500 people showed progress in honoring the civilians and veterans at Crown Point. Parrott said he wanted to add to that honor by surveying gravesites to find which plots belonged to veterans. Thanks to that work, flags are now placed at veterans’ graves each Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Independence Day.
The monument is just the latest touch in calling attention to the veterans buried in the cemetery. Veteran Ken Jaques, who attended the dedication ceremony, had one word for how all of the work done at the cemetery makes him feel.