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      JROTC prepares for Civil War monument dedication ceremony

      <p dir="ltr" align="left">The Union Soldier was carved by chainsaw artist Gary Keenan from Des Moines, Iowa.</p>
      This Memorial Day includes the dedication of a new monument to Civil War heroes.

      A more than 200-year-old grand oak tree once stood in the Ottumwa Cemetery. Several years ago it died of oak wilt disease, but a small group of people wanted the tree carved into a monument to honor soldiers of the Civil War. The statue was carved in late October. Now it awaits its official dedication. On Wednesday, the JROTC was practicing for its part of the ceremony.

      "It's very important to me, one, because I??m a soldier, and there's a lot of people here who passed away to serve our country, and then the other part of it helps me help the cadets learn really what good citizenship is all about," Chief Marvin Wynn, U.S. Army JROTC said.

      "In this country we have to find a new unity where we're all together, and this is symbolic of that unity of community," City Councilman J.R. Richards said.

      The dedication ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the cemetery. Everyone in the community is encouraged to attend.