(Lander, Wyo.) – The City of Lander is celebrating today the 100-year anniversary of the Spanish-American War Memorial at Mount Hope Cemetery by announcing plans to rebuild the structure.
100 years ago today, the concrete war memorial was publicly dedicated. The memorial includes a brass plate forged from metal on the original USS Maine, the city states. The Spanish-American War was fought between the United States and Spain primarily over the independence of Cuba. The battle began in May of 1898 after an explosion sunk the USS Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15 killing 266 sailors. During the war another 3,289 Americans died.
“It is only fitting that 100 years later, to the day, we come together today to remember a very important part of American history,” said Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander.
“I worked at the cemetery for 31 years and never imagined I would have the opportunity to be a part of this worthwhile project,” said former Cemetery Sexton and current Councilman Dick Hudson. “It is very important to me that we pass on our history to future generations.” Hudson, a Vietnam era veteran, stated he is aware of at least two Spanish-American War Veterans buried at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Lander Mayor Mick Wolfe also stated he strongly supports the project. Wolfe, a Vietnam Veteran, said that War Memorials are an important way to always remember the sacrifices of our veterans.
To begin the rebuilding process, a public meeting will be held to discuss construction options. The meeting will be held at Lander City Hall at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 6. Case and Hudson will lead the project with the support of Lander Community Resource Coordinator Gary Michaud and current Cemetery Sexton Field Iiams.