Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

'America the Beautiful'

Mead, Barrasso on hand to dedicate veterans memorial

 

Zach Spadt

Pine Bluffs resident Larry Silvey speaks to attendees at the "America the Beautiful" mural dedication ceremony in Pine Bluffs Tuesday. The mural depicts United States landmarks ranging from the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii to landmarks on the United States East Coast. Silvey was instrumental in bringing the mural to Pine Bluffs.

About 100 spectators packed the Pine Bluffs Veterans Memorial Plaza Tuesday to dedicate a tribute to veterans that has been in the works for years now.

U.S. Senator John Barrasso, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and other dignitaries were on hand for Tuesday's ceremony.

Earlier this month, a mural stretching across the north wall at the veterans plaza was installed by a crew from Salt Lake City.

It includes American landmarks from USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

"America is beautiful not just because of the scenery but because of the people who have sacrificed. It's beautiful because of the liberties we enjoy here in America," Mead said.

"We know those freedoms are not free. They come with a cost. They've been paid for by the men and women in our military."

Pine Bluffs resident Larry Silvey has been instrumental in bringing the memorial to Pine Bluffs.

In 2016, Silvey led the way in installing four statues representing members of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy. Governor Mead was on hand for that dedication, too.

But Silvey's work wasn't done.

He continued his work with bringing the "America the Beautiful" mural to Pine Bluffs. It took well over a year to plan and secure funding, but it only took an afternoon to install earlier this month.

"It's a tribute to this little town. Most of all, it's a tribute to Wyoming to have this kind of spirit to honor the people of this state," Silvey said Tuesday.

During his speech, Silvey gave replicas to Mead and Barrasso. He also gave a replica to Pine Bluffs Treasurer Kim Patterson, but she was unable to attend Tuesday's event.

Barrasso said the mural and statues represent the patriotism Wyomingites have for their country.

Each year, Barrasso gifts a challenge coin to Wyoming's new military recruits. On Tuesday, he offered the coins - which depict the Steamboat, the Wyoming Bucking Horse - to every veteran in attendance.

(These coins are) a mark of brotherhood and a job well done," Barrasso said. "I give one to each recruit to tell them it's for you to remember you are cowboys. Cowboys never quit. Cowboys never complain and neither will the United States military."

Mead noted that Monday marked Memorial Day. The new memorial in Pine Bluffs offers citizens another way to honor the sacrifices servicemen and women have made in keeping the United States free, including those from Wyoming.

"There are many from Wyoming who sailed across the Atlantic to establish a beachhead in Europe, or to take back some island in the pacific to never return," Mead said.

"We can honor their devotion bravery and sacrifice by remembering who they were and what they did for us to preserve this beautiful country.

"It's a sobering reminder of what has been given for freedom's sake. So many lives have been given."

 

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