Re-Dedication of WWII Memorial, Lakewood High School, 9700 W. 8th Ave., Lakewood CO
“LEST WE FORGET, THOSE OF LAKEWOOD SCHOOLS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN WORLD WAR II: Rags (Radcliffe) Addenbrooke, Ray Junior Brannaman, John B. Bray, Dale Broman, D. Eugene Cline, John A. Dorak, Herman William Gerke, James B. Jellison Jr., Danny E. Johnson, Kenneth Mayberry, Robert M. Molholm, James D. Smith.”
is a Lakewood City Council Member and an Army Veteran. When Mr. Roybal was researching how Lakewood honors its veterans, he went looking for a forgotten memorial from WWII. When he rediscovered the neglected monument, he was saddened by its condition and off the beaten path site. He immediately took action to restore this symbolic reminder of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Due to the original area, he also took steps to move the stone slab to a more prominent location. A location where Lakewood residents could honor the fallen school alumni, as the community and the families of the dead originally intended when the monument was commissioned.
Several other veterans and civilians were also involved with this project. City Council Member, David Wiechman, Historical Society Member, Tom Keller, and Lakewood City employee, Paul Hickson to name a few.
Once the new location was determined, several new volunteers were needed. Austin Reynolds, from Boy Scout Troop 130 was one of the recruits who played a major role in this community project.
shares his experience regarding this re-dedication project: “About 6-7 months ago, I was a Life Scout looking for an eagle project. I heard another scout had chosen this project and dropped out of it, and it was a project that I thought would make a lasting impact in my community (as a Junior at Lakewood High School), so I snapped it up and met with my principal to affirm my choice to do the project. It was originally planned to be 2 projects, one preparing for the move and one after the move, but I ended up doing all of it because I wanted to see the project through to its end.”
How did sponsors become involved? “Some sponsors learned about the project due to their direct connection to my troop, but for most I had to go to them and do some marketing and present my project plans to them. Some gave only once, but some, like the Lakewood Elks and Kiwanis, stuck with the project through both phases. The Elks even planned and funded the re-dedication ceremony. I began by contacting civic and veterans organizations I thought might help, in addition to directly contacting businesses for material donations or discounts.”
What has this project meant to you? “This project has been a team effort for me since day one. It has been inspirational to see so many help and support me throughout the course of the project. On a larger scale, it has been about doing something significant for the school and my community, and performing an important duty for those veterans (and all veterans) which will preserve their legacy for decades (hopefully) to come.”
Any additional comments? “I could not have done this without the full support of my troop and, most importantly, my family. I may have led the project, but I am only the figurehead for the efforts of so many. Everyone involved with the project has a partial ownership in it. Hopefully, their and my efforts will stand for decades to come as a shrine to honor veterans who willingly gave their lives to stop one of the greatest evils this world has ever known.”
On the date of this re-dedication celebration, some family and friends of those recognized on the monument were in attendance. Dale Broman’s family was present.
Center – Leota Broman Hettinger (Dale’s Sister) Clockwise from her left Jana Jones (Leota’s daughter, Dale’s niece); Delaine Robie, (Dale’s niece), Ron Hettinger (Dale’s nephew), Darrell Jones (Jana’s Husband) and Bob Hettinger, (Dale’s nephew.)
Sister, Leota Broman: “My brother, Dale Broman joined the Army Air Corps after D-day. His plane was shot down on a mission over the Halmahera Islands in the South Pacific on August 13, 1944 and he was declared Missing in Action. He was finally declared dead in 1946. When the original Memorial was dedicated at the site of the old Lakewood High School, all of our family was present. The Lakewood Memorial Field was named at the same time. We have continued to visit the site every year on Memorial Day to place a flag. The Women’s Garden Club kept the memorial tidy for many years, but it eventually became neglected and lost among the weeds. Few people knew it existed. I read about the re-dedication of the memorial in the “Your Hub” section of the Denver Post and my son Bob followed up to find out more about it. I am very glad that the Memorial has been rediscovered and brought to its current location at Lakewood High School. Since Dale’s body was never found, this Memorial is very meaningful to our family. I am very thankful to Austin Reynolds, Pete Roybal and the many people involved in the Memorial’s relocation and re-dedication.
Leota Broman Hettinger, Centennial, CO May 31, 2016
Video of Lakewood High School WWII Memorial Rededication. Video published on June 7, 2016.
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VETERANS FOR YOUR SERVICE!