Contributions from the Oregon Trail Community Foundation, funds from the City of Gering Keno, and local businesses enabled Gering Legion Post 36 to replace the 62-year-old cement pad at West Lawn Cemetery with a covered pavilion. The original platform was built by the Gering Legion Post in 1960.
Over the years, the brick facade has deteriorated and the interior of the platform has been compromised. Also, the platform was not wheelchair accessible. One of the features of the new pavilion is that it is wheelchair accessible via a sidewalk from the road to the pavilion. Granite panels engraved with the emblems of the six branches of the US military and the names of deceased loved ones will be installed to complete the pavilion.
Historically, the platform has been used by the Legion on Memorial Day each year. The new covered pavilion will be available to the community for memorial events, or as additional space for funerals/celebrations of life. In fact, a local family once used the new pavilion for a cremation memorial service.
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The Gering Legion is now taking subscription bookings to engrave the names of deceased loved ones. The cost to have a name engraved is $25. The people we remember or honor don’t have to be veterans.
Many people, local government agencies and local businesses have worked to make the Pavilion dream a reality. Gering City Park, Cemetery and Trees Board approved the pavilion project in February 2022. The West Lawn Cemetery team demolished the old platform and prepared the site for the new pavilion. Anderson-Shaw completed the concrete slab and sidewalk. B & C Steel donated the steel for the structure. Aulick Industries donated the painting of the steel and Kindvall Siding and Construction donated the labor for the construction of the steel structure. Carr-Trumbull Lumber donated the concrete block for the walls which were built by Steve Fertig.
Herstead Monument provides granite panels for the pavilion walls. The east side panels of the pavilion will be engraved with the emblems of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard. Two walls are reserved for the engraving of the names of deceased relatives. The engraving will be completed and the granite panels will be installed in the spring of 2023.
Funding for the construction of the pavilion includes contributions from Gering Keno, Oregon Trail Community Foundation, Platte Valley Bank, Riverstone Bank, Masek Distributing, Neminch Automotive, Bridgman Funeral Home, Sandberg Implement, Kelley Bean, Reverence Funeral Parlor, Western Sugar Cooperative and Main Street Device.
Community members who wish to honor a deceased loved one can submit information and payment in person to the Legion in Gering, 1425 9th St. The engraving request form is also available on the Legion’s website at address www.gerlinglegion.org. The Legion is open to the public Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4 p.m. It is also open on Mondays at 5 p.m.