Veterans Memorial Park gets new sculpture

SUN photo/Randi Pierce
A new installation at the Veterans Memorial Park of Archuleta County depicts the flag raising at Iwo Jima during World War II and was donated to the park, located near U.S. 160 and Vista Boulevard.

By Richard Walker
Veterans Memorial Park
of Archuleta County

A new metal sculpture was just added at the Veterans Memorial Park. It is a metal depiction of the Marines raising the flag on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima in World War II. 

The piece of art was a gift from Buddy and Aly Shanks, of Clyde, Texas, to the park. The Shanks have sold their ranch in Texas and are moving to Pagosa Springs in late October. Aly is the niece of long-time residents Chuck and Judy Jordan, and the Jordans were instrumental in the park gaining this beautiful piece. Chuck Jordan is a member of Vets for Vets and he contacted the park board about the possibility of the gift. 

Board president Karin Daniels and board member Rick Walker met with the Shanks at the Jordans’ home last month and discussed the possibility of installing the sculpture at the park. The board voted unanimously to accept the generous gift and board members Jim Huffman and Rick Walker were tasked with the logistics and getting the piece to Pagosa. 

Huffman made some alterations to his 10-foot trailer and Walker made the 1,300-mile-plus round trip, hauling the trailer with his pickup. On Sept. 24, Huffman and Walker, joined by fellow board member Jim Van Liere and Vets for Vets member Pat White, installed the sculpture at the park. You can view it from the street just in front of the commemorative brick display.

We believe that in these times of social and political unrest, this reminder of all that our troops have done and sacrificed to keep us free is very timely. Please come by the park and look at this latest addition to our park and see if you do not agree. More new installations will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

The commemorative brick display is filling up, but there is still room for more. To order yours or to contribute, please go to the Veterans Memorial Park website at