County officials add names to veterans' memorial
The Fourth of July proved to be the perfect day to celebrate the sacrifices of Bingham County's veterans.
With a newly refurbished memorial serving as the backdrop. county commissioners, representatives of the Sheriff's Office, the American Legion and family members celebrated the addition of four names to that memorial.
Scott Summers, the acting maintenance director at the courthouse, said one family member noted the absence of a relative on the memorial and got the ball rolling to find other omissions.
"Stephen Elison's father fought in World War II, but his name wasn't on the memorial," Summers said.
On Thursday the names of World War II veterans Merlin William Hawkes, George B. Walters and Don C. Elison and Korean War veteran Don Card Carter were added.
"We want to thank Gary Baumgartner of Blackfoot Paint and Glass for painting the stars and stripes on the memorial," Summers said.
Before Baumgartner did so, few people took note of the sign with rust spot which stood near the curb in front of the courthouse.
Summers said he knows there are other missing names and misspelled names on the sign. He said he encourages those who know of such mistakes to call the county at 785-8040 or call his cell phone at 317-4389. He said he has already received 200 more names.
"This is going to be a community effort," Summers said. "We want to honor (all Bingham County veterans) who served in the nation's wars. We want to include all the people who sacrificed their lives, their time."
Commissioner Ladd Carter presented three of the four men newly listed with American flags.
"Freedom is bought with a price," Carter said. "It's fitting today we honor their sacrifices."
Carter quoted seldom-sung verses of "America the Beautiful" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" which honor the sacrifices of the nation's military veterans.
Following the ceremony, which drew about 50 people, the American Legion honor guard from Stewart Hoover Post 23 fired a 21-gun salute and a bugler played "Taps."
Then those who had come re-examined the memorial for the names of family members who served.