New monument at Sebastian park to honor recent vets

SEBASTIAN — Upon pending approval from Sebastian City Council, the Veterans Advisory Board of Sebastian will unveil a new granite monument in Memorial Park honoring the veterans of conflicts in the Middle East post 9/11.

The monument will be placed next to the “Victims of 9/11” monument and match the rest of the granite markers honoring veterans of previous wars and conflicts.

“Thousands upon thousands of lives have been lost, and many more injured in these conflicts,” said Board member Frank Cutrone, a Gulf War veteran and spokesperson for the monument project.

“These conflicts have been going on for 12 years now,” Cutrone said. “This is overdue.”

Cutrone presented his idea for the monument to the advisory board and asked that the board recommend the City approve the project and expedite the process so the granite piece could be revealed at the city’s Memorial Day celebration on May 26.

Etched in the piece of granite will be the names of three separate conflicts, “Operation Enduring Freedom,” “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” and “Global War on Terror.”

The three phrases represent veterans who have served in Afghanistan, Iraq, or any location that has been touched by the global war on terror in the past 12 years.

Cutrone noted in his presentation that many of the veterans who served in one or more of the conflicts represented by the monument may not appear exactly like many veterans of previous wars.

“You make look at some of them and think ‘they were in the military?’” Cutrone said. “But they’re the future of these veterans organizations.” He added, “They need to be recognized, honored, and feel included.”

Board member Barney Giordan motioned to recommend the new monument be approved by City Council in enough time to have the granite cut by Memorial Day and to ask City Council to wave any building permit fees that may be associated with the project.

Board member Jack Willis seconded Giordan’s motion, and the Board approved unanimously.

Interim City Manager Joe Griffin said he would take the Board’s recommendation before City Council at the Council’s meeting on Wednesday evening.

Cutrone said he encouraged any veterans in Indian River County who served in one or more of the conflicts to attend the Memorial Day unveiling of the monument. Veterans who are willing will be recognized and honored at the celebration.

Veterans can contact (772) 589-3405, and leave a message for a commander in order to be recognized at the Memorial Day event at Monument Park in Sebastian.

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