Published On: Thu, Jul 18th, 2013

World War I monument gets some attention


COLERIDGE — Two Coleridge residents, who are both veterans, have had a hand in keeping a WWI Monument looking good.

The World War I Monument, which honors close to 100 veterans that fought overseas during World War I, sits in the Coleridge Park near the shelter house.

Don Heitman and his son, Dennis, have been taking time to trim the hedge and clean up the weeds in the raised bed that surrounds the monument.

Dennis’s sons, 16-year old Dakota; Brady, who is 12; and Kobe, 11, helped their grandfather and dad with the project.

The three boys are all Laurel-Concord-Coleridge students.

“It was good to have the boys help,” Don said.

Don has been watching over the monument for a number of years.

“One year Bruce Bohlken and I cleaned and painted parts of the monument,” Don said.

Each year on Memorial Day Don displays a wooden cross with poppies near the monument.

“At one time the Legion would stop at the monument on Memorial Day and fire their guns,” Don said.

Don, who will be 90-years old next month, is planning on taking care of the monument as long as he is able.

“When I am gone I hope Dennis continues to take care of it,” Don said.

Don and Dennis are both veterans and members of the Carl Korff American Legion Post 114.

Don served in the Army in World War II from 1943 to 1946.

While overseas he earned six medals fighting on the front lines in the Infantry.

Don was at Omaha Beach as part of the Normandy invasion and fought all the way to Czechoslovakia, crossing through France, Germany, Belgium, and Austria during the war.


Dennis enlisted in the Navy after he graduated from high school and served in the Gulf War.

Dennis was a Captain Boat Gig Driver. His ship was at Norway, Italy, Iraq, Iran and Africa.


Don and his wife, Betty, came from families that were very patriotic.

There were six boys in Don’s family and all six served in the military.

Betty’s Dad, Irvin Dewey and her uncle, Otto Dewey, served in WWI.