Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Elmwood ~ St. Joseph Cemetery
1224 S. Washington Ave., Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

NorthIowa Today
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
July 02, 2011

Mason City's Veteran's Memorial Plaque
Dedicated Saturday

A restored Mason City Veteran's Memorial Plaque was dedicated Saturday morning at Elmwood Cemetery. John ERIGHT, a boy scout from Mason City, led the project that began last fall.

The iron plaque, 89 years old, was located at the 10th Street SW Elmwood Cemetery entrance and was originally dedicated along with a flag staff in 1922. It was said about 800 people showed up for that first dedication.

The plaque had to be removed from that location, restored, mounted on a granite base, and then relocated to it new home near the Federal Avenue cemetery entrance.

"It had about 100 coats of paint on it," cemetery directory Randy OPHEIM said. "It needed attention, and it got it." A technique called "bubble blasting" removed all the old paint and rust.

The granite base came from China. "That really held up the project," OPHEIM said. "Due to the angle of the cut, and the long distance of the journey, the project took six months instead of six weeks."

OPHEIM said he worked with Mason City Volunteer coordinator Mary ZISHKA to help get the project off the ground. OPHEIM said moving the plaque to its new location was "the right thing to do," since the ground near the Federal Avenue cemetery entrance was set aside in 1955 for use by the Veteran's Association for commemoration of the war dead.

It was thought that the project would be a great fit for a scout, and ZISHKA solicited the assistance of John ENRIGHT, a member of Boy Scout Troop 401, who then took on the project.

ENRIGHT thanked his parents, first of all, for all their support as he completed the project. He also thanked all the sponsors that pitched in and helped. ENRIGHT is pursuing his Eagle Badge, and just needs a few more credits to achieve that.

ENRIGHT said the project "wasn't the easiest thing," but said it seemed like it needed to be done. "I was really happy to be a part of this. I have no words to explain . . . what this means to me."

Photograph courtesy of NorthIowa Today

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2012

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