By Conrad Dudderar
A park bench honoring the courage and sacrifice of veterans from all U.S. Armed Forces was unveiled this week in Yukon.
The Yukon Veterans Museum dedicated the “Yukon Veterans” bench during a ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 28 near Mulvey’s Pond in Yukon City Park.
The new bench was installed off Jim Watson Drive behind the Yukon Community Center, 2200 S Holly.
Yukon Veterans Museum board members sponsored the bench to honor U.S. military veterans.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. (ret.) Rick Cacini, the founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum, said the bench honored this country’s “fallen heroes” as a “tribute to their sacrifice.”
“Their memory must live on if this country is to remain the land of the free,” he said. “We are the land of the free because of these young men and women – our country’s best – who took an oath to defend this country and its principles.
“They say, ‘I love this country so much that I will give up my life for it’.”
The Yukon Veterans bench features emblems of the six U.S. service branches: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.
“The services listed on this bench have given their voice,” Cacini told the audience gathered for the dedication. “Yes, this memorial is a living thing, even if molded from metal from the earth.
“Come some silent evening and sit and listen. It will speak to you.”
FREEDOM … NOT FREE
Attendees were reminded that freedom is not free.
“Someone has paid the price that others take for granted,” Cacini added. “For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.”
The public is encouraged to visit the new Yukon Veterans bench on the south side of Mulvey’s Pond at Yukon City Park.
They also are welcome to tour the Yukon Veterans Museum, 1010 W Main.
The museum’s normal hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Appointments are available outside those times.
Museum displays feature battlefield gear, flags, historic photographs, uniforms, helmets, weapons, newspaper and magazine articles, and military documents.
The artifacts have been donated by individuals, families and veterans of all armed services.
For more information, call (405) 517-1901, (405) 314-5791 or (405) 514-6794.