By MADDY VITALE
For those who have served their country, they will never forget their time in the military. Their families also all know of the sacrifices they made.
But for others, who may not always think about veterans or their sacrifices and service, a monument unveiled at American Legion Post 524 in Ocean City fittingly on Veteran’s Day, may give them a greater appreciation of those who have given so much for so many.
“Veterans need to be respected more than once a year and having the monument reminds us, as veterans and our families, that veterans are special,” Post 524 Senior Vice-Commander Pat Cummings said in an interview Sunday. “All Americans need to be reminded of the sacrifices of the armed forces and their veterans. The monument serves as a reminder for all of us.”
The polished granite monument depicts World War I, World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The monument is located at the bottom of the stairs on the north side of the Post 524 building at 4562 West Ave.
It was created by Douglass Monuments of Cape May Court House and it was installed by D. Chila Construction of Ocean City, Cummings said.
The monument reads: “In Honor of All Vets, Past, Present and Future”
The unveiling of the monument, which was completed in mid-summer, was originally scheduled to take place in October but was postponed due to a coastal storm.
Cummings noted that despite heavy rain on Friday, the members of Post 524 wanted to have a ceremony to recognize the monument and its significance on Veterans Day.
Instead of being outside, however, the ceremony was held inside. Cummings recognized those involved in selecting the type of monument, as well as the construction and installation of it.
Specifically, he emphasized that Post 524 veteran Tom McMenamin was the project coordinator and worked tirelessly.
“Tom kept the project on schedule and approved the design with the architect and brought it to the executive board for us to see it,” Cummings said of McMenamin’s contributions to the project.
He said everyone at the post wanted a monument, but there was a lot involved to make sure it happened.
“We talked about it in a couple of the monthly executive board meetings and then we took a vote on it. Everyone on the executive board approved it,” Cummings said.
The monument was made possible through Post 524 fundraising efforts, as well as contributions from the American Legion Auxiliary, and the Sons of The American Legion.
Cummings said he hopes the monument will remain a constant reminder of the sacrifices made by veterans, of those who gave their lives, of those who are currently serving and of those who will one day serve their country.
During the ceremony Friday, Cummings read the words of George Washington that, he felt summed up the importance of serving in the military.
“The willingness which our young people are likely to serve any wars, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”
For information about American Legion Post 524 visit www.legion524ocnj.org