The Battlefield Cross Memorial

Imagine an inspired person decides to give back to the community in a way that leaves a lasting impact for decades to come. Imagine this person decides they want to do something to pay tribute to our nation’s military so this person puts everything they have into finding the necessary resources to erect a memorial that speaks to the ultimate sacrifice made by so many of our nation’s military. This most determined person stated, “My hope for this project is that this memorial will promote awareness for all our veterans have given to ensure our freedom and remind the residents of Parker on a daily basis how much we owe them.”

Sounds pretty remarkable, doesn’t it? This person is actually an incredible young man named Ewan Gregory. Ewan, who will be an 8th grader at Cimarron Middle School this fall, developed this memorial project as his Eagle Scout Project. A scout since he joined Cub Scouts in the first grade, Ewan has always had a deep respect and appreciation for the military. Much of his immediate family serves, as did his Great Uncle, who lost his life during the Vietnam War and his Great Grandfather, who bravely served in WWII. Ewan himself has plans to join the Army.

To honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, Ewan is having a sculpture of the Battlefield Cross erected in Living Wheel Park in Downtown Parker. The battlefield cross is a symbolic replacement of a cross or marker at the base camp of a soldier who has been killed. According to the Smithsonian, the first appearance of the Battlefield Cross may have been during the Civil War. Soldiers were buried in temporary cemeteries near battlefields, identified by simple, wooden plaques. The configuration of a “cross”; a rifle pointed downward with a helmet perched on the stock, was a more common sight during WWI and WWII. Beginning with the Gulf War in 1991 and during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, the latest version of the Battlefield Cross was created using the rifle, helmet, boots and dog tags. Sculptor Richard Young and his partner Lena Toritch have produced dozens of bronze statues honoring our military. Most recently, he was commissioned to sculpt a life-size eagle which serves as the centerpiece of a Veterans Memorial park in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

To bring this project to fruition, Ewan is working to raise $7,000 and could use everyone’s help. You can donate directly to Parker Troop 280 at Champion Bank (located at 16790 Centre Court in Parker) or through the project’s GoFundMe site (www.gofundme.com/battlefieldcross.) Any excess funds raised will be donated to a local veteran’s organization.

The Battlefield Cross Memorial, the first of its kind in Colorado, will be unveiled on July 29th at 2:00pm.

With remarkable young men like Ewan setting the example for our community, it is safe to say we are a community to be proud of.

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