Freeport Veterans Memorial adds four new venues on Veterans Day
On a day of remembrance, the Freeport Veterans Memorial unveiled four new monuments to honor veterans, war dogs, and their families.
"The memorials started in 2010 and we've pretty much added every year a new venue. Four is the largest we've ever tackled but it's gone off without a hitch," said Tim Ard, the Project Chair for the Freeport Veterans Memorial.
The four new monuments include an addition to the POW/MIA monument, a tribute to war dogs, a monument for those suffering from invisible wounds such as PTSD and a monument for veterans' families who are awaiting their return.
Event organizers say its a humbling experience to present the venues to veterans.
"Setting up the grounds today to get ready for this ceremony, I can't tell you the number of veterans that came by, they would touch the monument, kneel, pray, cry. It just makes everything we've done worthwhile," said Ard.
Next year will be the final year the park adds in new venues but officials say the celebrations will remain.
"Next year we do have our final two phases going in, and then we will continue with our services each year so people can come and honor those," said Freeport Mayor Russ Barley.
As locals took a look at the memorials new and old, some realized while we may not know all of the veterans who sacrificed so much to protect our country, we owe them all.
Of the final two venues, one will honor women who serve and the other will be an eternal flame.