ST. FRANCIS – Two local veterans decided all Cheyenne County veterans should be honored in a memorial, and they worked to make the project a reality.
The Cheyenne County Veterans’ Memorial pays tribute to 2,150 men and women from Cheyenne County who have served in the United States armed forces and honors them for their service and sacrifice. Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Jack Weinstein, a St. Francis native and Korean War Veteran, is also honored on the front display panel.
Pete Jensen and Bob Ogden proposed the Veterans’ Memorial to the St. Francis City Council in October 2020. The City Council recognized the importance of honoring those who have served in the line of duty and approved the request to construct a Veterans’ Memorial at Roadside Park.
Installation of the Veterans’ Memorial inspired the Cheyenne County Museum to construct a memorial in honor of Capt. Ronald B. Evans, Apollo 17 Command Module Pilot, who was born in St. Francis. A dedication ceremony was held on Nov. 12, 2022, for both the Veterans’ Memorial and the Ron Evans Memorial.
Pete and Bob, along with other community members, spent many hours fundraising for the project. A grant from the Cheyenne County Community Foundation along with individual donations received allowed them to move forward with construction, and installation of the display panels was completed in March 2022.
The plans also included a gazebo to protect the memorial from the weather. The St. Francis City Council applied for and received a grant from the Hansen Foundation to help cover the cost of the gazebo, which was installed June 2022.