Veteran’s memorial dedication planned at historic Dillavou Cemetery Monday

~by Lora Koch, The Scranton Journal

Dillavou1It will be a special Memorial Day at one of the most historic cemeteries in the area when the new veteran’s memorial is dedicated. Not only is Dillavou one of the oldest cemeteries with the largest contingent of Civil War veterans in the area, it is located in a peaceful and picturesque country setting just a few miles northeast of Ralston.

Dillavou Cemetery Association director Connie Bock explained the new veteran’s memorial. “The old veteran’s memorial was a wooden structure that served us well for 25 years,” said Bock. “The glass was leaking around the wood structure. The bottom had rotted and a tree was holding it up. Our veterans deserve better than that.” 

The Dillavou Cemetery Association worked with Dave Sloan at Jefferson Monument Works on the design with their budget of $7,000. “We had no trouble raising this money in one year,” said Bock. “And the memorial has room to add more names in the future. They can even be engraved.”

Bock extends thanks and appreciation to the Glidden Community Auction for starting them off with a donation of $1,500. The remaining funds came from cemetery families and private donations. “There is even enough money left over we can add names to the memorial at no charge to the families,” said Bock.

The Scranton fire department will erect the Avenue of Flags at Dillavou Cemetery, with one flag for every veteran. There are 84 veteran names on the new memorial, including 27 from the Civil War and even one from the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

The Dillavou Cemetery Association is very pleased to announce that Dr Daniel McClure will give the invocation and benediction during the Memorial Day service and dedication. McClure has been the American Legion of Iowa Department chaplain since 2011, and also served as the National American Legion chaplain for the 2013-2014 year. 

McClure is a retired Colonel from the Iowa National Guard. He entered the service in 1962 as a Private/E-1. In 1975, he was urged to pursue a life of service to the Lord, completed his Chaplain Basic Course, and was ordained at Heritage Baptist Church in Lakeland, FL. 

During his service to our county, McClure was awarded the Legion of Merit, six Meritorious Service Medals, five commendation awards, two Purple Hearts, one Bronze Star, and one Silver Star. 

He and his wife Marge live in Washington, IA, and have two children and four grandchildren. 

The community is welcomed and encouraged to attend this special service and dedication. As Bock explains, “Dillavou is still a very actively used cemetery. Once a second driveway is put in, we can put in more plots and it can be even more used than it is today.”

 

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