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Riverside is like a park

I read with great interest the recent stories in the local newspaper about the devastating effect of the August 10, 2020 derecho windstorm on one of my family’s favorite places to go in Marshalltown – Riverside Cemetery.

The 150 mph wind on that day ripped up trees and toppled headstones in the cemetery and caused more than a million dollars in damage in a few minutes.

In the 35 years I’ve lived here, Riverside Cemetery has been more like a park and gathering spot for many Marshalltownians, including my family, rather than just a cemetery.

It is one of the first places I take visitors as part of a tour of our town. It is where I took my children, and now take my grandchildren, to feed the ducks and see the swans in the beautiful lake there. On Veterans Day and Memorial Day it is where various veterans activities are staged and the wonderful avenue of US flags are on display. It is where we have had countless family picnics and have walked the roads through the beautifully landscaped area.

And it isn’t just my family.

Every time we go to the cemetery, we see scores of other families doing exactly what we are doing — enjoying one of Marshalltown’s most beautiful places.

My hope is that this attractive, peaceful, park-like place that is so much more than a cemetery can receive the much-needed help from FEMA to help repair the derecho damage in order that my family and so many others can continue to enjoy its beauty for generations to come.

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