These monuments are valued not only by those who appreciate our veterans but by veterans themselves.
In 2000, as construction neared completion, the builder and crew, on site one day as a van appeared, watched a woman exit and approach them. She explained a WWII veteran, inside and terminally ill, wished to see the monument before he died. Responding “yes by all means,” they stopped all work in progress and stepped aside. As the woman wheeled the man up the sidewalk, he motioned her to stop as they neared the memorial. Sitting still, he slowly gazed from one end to the other and then struggled to his feet, refusing assistance. Snapping to attention, he saluted the monument and stood for a point in time, as if in reverence to those who served. Slumping back in his chair, the couple departed as quietly as they arrived.
Everyone in attendance, feeling the emotion of the moment, stood speechless… and began to realize the importance of this memorial and why a ceremony to honor these veterans should continue each and every year and endures to this day…
“We were soldiers once and young… Remember us.”