Construction begins on monument to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Tuesday night for another war memorial coming to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park at the downtown waterfront.
With the ceremonial digging of the first soil out of the way, full construction begins on the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Memorial. It's located between monuments to the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and near a monument to Poles who served in the military of other countries in World War II.
The new memorial remembers the 71 Western New Yorkers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and the tens of thousands who served there, some of them on multiple tours of duty. Gold Star Mothers, those who lost sons and daughters in the war, were honored last night, and there were temporary signs with the names of their children. Those signs will be replaced with names engraved on the monument.
At last night's ceremony, Brian Guy said the memorial is on a fast track to completion.
"On September 13 of this year, 13 years and two days from that gorgeous September morning when our world changed forever, we will dedicate a beautiful memorial that honors the men and women who gave their all so that we may be free and safe," said Guy. "Tonight, we break ground for that memorial."
Supporters have raised more than $200,000 more than originally planned. The veterans behind the Vietnam memorial told planners of this new monument to put aside money for future maintenance. Repairs to the Vietnam memorial were unveiled at a re-dedication on Sunday.