By Angela HammerlinckNovember 21, 2007
Memorial service honors lives lost while working at Iowa Army Ammunition Plant
MIDDLETOWN, Iowa -- Hundreds of family members and coworkers
gathered for the unveiling of a monument at Iowa Army Ammunition
Plant and faced 64 empty chairs -- reminders of their loved ones
and coworkers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The memorial they dedicated Nov. 8 "will serve as a lasting tribute to
those who sacrificed everything for our nation," according to Lt. Col.
Benjamin Nutt, plant commander.
Since the plant's establishment in 1940, 64 employees have lost their lives in accidents on the installation. The most recent occurrence was on June 12, 2006, when an explosion took the lives of Justin Friedrichsen and Steven Upton. Nutt explained that while struggling with the tragic loss, the plant's employees, managers, and family members bonded together and recognized the need for this memorial.
"The building of a memorial is a time-honored tradition dating back thousands of years. Whatever form they come in - be it a building, the planting of a tree, or a massive stone
statue, they mark themselves in our consciousness and are a constant reminder of things that might ordinarily be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives," said Nutt. "Yet today, we still build monuments in tribute to those who have gone before
us and the impressive deeds that they have done."
The monument, dedicated 'In honor of the Iowa Army Ammunition plant workers who gave their all,' will serve as a daily, visible reminder of their sacrifice, said Nutt. "We gather here today not to offer pity to our people who were killed, but to honor
them, for as much as any Soldier in any war, they paid the ultimate price while doing their part to ensure our freedom and our continued way of life for future generations."
During his remarks, Nutt asked that those who view the monument remember what it represents. "The base of the stone represents the strength of our nation. The vertical section of the monument represents the people who rise to serve and protect the base. The eagle represents the liberty under which we live, and the shield, which represents how the
Iowa Army Ammunition Plant workforce, protects them all."
IAAAP protects the nation by providing large caliber ammunition to the joint warfighters. The plant manufactures artillery and tank