We are all familiar with veterans’ memorials located in our hometowns. These memorials serve as the focal points of local celebrations of Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Veterans Day. Currently, there is no place in Connecticut where all of the names of state vets are located in one place. That is soon to change, and you can help it happen.
A private foundation known as the Connecticut State Veterans Memorial Inc. has been established to raise money for the memorial. The estimated cost is $1.2 million. Half of the funds have already been raised. The other half will be raised through public appeal and a nominating process. For a $1 donation, you may nominate a friend or loved one who has served in the military to be included on the memorial. The so-called “Honor Roll of Heroes” will be located in Rocky Hill, across from the State Veterans Home.
The nomination process is simple. If you wish to donate online with a credit card, you can go to this website: http://www.cthonorsvets.org/Donate.asp. At that website, you just have to follow the instructions to nominate someone and make a donation. It’s quite simple.
Yet another way is to download and print a nomination form from the site, fill it out, include a check, and mail it in to the address provided. (See photos.)
The third way to nominate a vet is to obtain a nomination card at one of the many Connecticut banks that have agreed to participate in the fundraising efforts. Then just fill it out, return it to the participating bank, and pay your $1. Many Connecticut banks are participating in this worthy effort, and the list is growing. I picked my card up at a Liberty Bank branch.
The current head of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Linda S. Schwartz, is the president of the Connecticut State Veterans Memorial group. Dr. Schwartz, herself a Vietnam War veteran, is the first woman to head the state vets’ group in its history. Among the other 10 members of the board of directors is Ridgefield resident and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Paul W. “Buddy” Bucha. Bucha, a West Point grad and former U.S. Army Ranger, is also a Vietnam War veteran.
The Connecticut State Veterans Memorial project will be 100 percent funded through private donations. No government money is involved. Memorial Day is just around the corner. Consider supporting this worthy project by honoring a vet who was close to you.