Groundbreaking ceremony today for Gold Beach veterans memorial

July 04, 2012 09:24 am

By Florene Burns

Gold Beach

It’s been a long time coming and now is our chance to do something pretty wonderful in honoring the valiant men and women that gave their lives in war to keep us safe in this great land of ours.

Please don’t miss the special event as today, the Fourth of July (at 11 a.m.) has been designated as D Day for the ground breaking for the Memorial at the Port in Gold Beach to honor Veterans who gave their all.   

I can tell you this makes me feel proud to be in Curry County as already more than 70 people have bought into the project with their donations which purchase engraved tiles that contain the names and service dates of their loved ones. By honoring the service of both living veterans and those who have already passed on, through the purchase of a tile, all of us can help support the memorial at the Port. There are several in my life and they served in more than one conflict and every one of them will have a tile that etches their service into our local history. I think it would make them proud to know that we still remember and care.

I was still a young teenager at the beginning of World War II, with five brothers. One brother had already been in the army at Fort Bliss, Texas, for three years before the war. He was soon sent to the South Pacific where he saw a lot of action in the Philippines, but he came home safe and sound when the war was over, had a very productive life and is still living at home at age 89 in Hanford, California.

The youngest of my brothers was drafted and was wounded shortly after he arrived in Germany; he came home to recover and carried shrapnel in his lungs ever after. God Bless his soul; he left us last year. Two other brothers were drafted but the war was soon over and all of them came home but, oh, so many were not as fortunate.  

My husband Frank served 23 years in the Naval Air Force, retired at a fairly young age and died much too young. He would always say if my country needs me I’ll go back in a minute. Knowing him, he sure would have, just for the love of his country – and there will be a tile for him and for each of my brothers. It is a small price to pay homage to those who have put their lives on the line and a very small price to pay respect to those who have paid the price of freedom, with their lives, for all of us.  

You can get a copy of the tile order form and see other information at Let’s make Curry County truly a Veteran Friendly place for all.