Reflections of the July 25th Memorial Dedication Ceremony
By Eric Diller, Committee Member
Credit must go to Daniel Rickert, Chairman, for getting the effort started at the September 25, 2004, reunion in Albuquerque, NM. He formed what became a dedicated Committee including Bill Boyden, Ken Fentner, Billy Johnson, Dutch Nelsen, Sal Schillaci, all Korean vets, and Eric Diller, WWII vet.
The outstanding design was created by Danielle Rickert, Dan's granddaughter. The 'three dimensionel' highest quality plague was produced by Prof. Larry Jones of Saddleback College, CA. And the Stone Art Memorial Company, New York, and Rock of Ages Company, Vermont, not only generated the granite block but also donated it. D.H.L. Forwarding shipped it free of charge to Hawaii.
The 24th Division Memorial occupies a prestigious spot at the Punch Bowl Road, Honolulu among many others from our Armed Forces. The color and raised glass Taro Leaf makes it truly extraordinary.
The Ceremony was conducted by our President, Gene Spicer. Emcee Wes Morrison introduced the several speakers who dedicated the Memorial.
Noteworthy was Dan Rickert's gratitude to all who made this mission a success. Special mention was made of departed Dutch Nelsen, and ill Billy Johnson, both Committee Members.
The program was militarily conducted, including Color Guards and three gun salutes. About forty people attended, approximately half were 24th Division members or associates. Our Memorial will be on permanent display for all 24th veterans, families and others.