Sep 11, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterGriffin monument unveiled in Riverton
Veterans, active service members, school children, government officials and residents gathered under a somber sky Wednesday to commemorate a fallen soldier. Roughly 250 people joined the family of Command Sgt. Major Kevin Griffin in Riverton Veterans Park to dedicate a memorial to the local hero.
Griffin, a Riverton native and a 1985 Riverton High School graduate, was killed in action Aug. 8, 2012, in Afghanistan.
"In this place, Kevin will be remembered in Riverton," Gov. Matt Mead said at the dedication. "The word thanks we know is not enough."
As words do not suffice, he suggested those gathered could show their appreciation in how they live.
"To lead our lives, and to do it in a way that this county we love and so many sacrificed for, continues to be the greatest country on Earth," he said.
Griffin was a 24-year U.S. Army veteran who enlisted shortly after graduating from Riverton High School, where he was a state-champion wrestler for the Wolverines.
He married Pamela Barton in 1987 and left behind two children, Dan, 22, and Kylie, 15.
Mayor Ron Warpness said Griffin was a testament to the kind of character the Riverton community could produce.
"Each of us played a small part in shaping Kevin," Warpness said. "But collectively all of Riverton was a significant part in making Kevin the man we are honoring today."
After the speakers, two soldiers unveiled the monument to Griffin: a battle cross cast in bronze on top on of a stone plinth. The statue features a rifle point-down in a pair of combat boots with an Army helmet resting on the butt.
A plaque displaying a photo of Griffin and telling his story stands next to the statue.
At the end of the ceremony, Griffin's family and many others lined up to lay a bouquet of flowers and spend a quiet moment in front of the monument.
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