Monroe County’s War on Terror Memorial unveiled

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Dozens stood side-by-side at the Gary Beikirch Memorial Park for a special remembrance and memorial 20 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Nick Stefanovic is the Director of Monroe County Veteran Services.

“About four years we’ve been working on this project to unveil the War on Terror Memorial. This was a project that started in the prior administration and, due to some funding stalling, we finally got it done,” Stefanovic said.

Saturday’s event was to unveil the new Monroe County War On Terror Memorial and to remember the names of those who lost their lives in war from 1990 to now.

“Rochester is going to lead the way in this regard. It’s one of the biggest in the nation right now to recognize the War on Terror Memorial and the War on Terror is coming to an end hopefully you know. There’s nothing further that comes from it, but now is the time to remember those who sacrificed their lives in this war,” Stefanovic said.

Right in the middle of the memorial is a life-sized battlefield cross statue showing the boots, gun, and helmet of a fallen soldier.

“This to me means a lot; you just don’t know. In my heart it means so much to me,” Gold Start mother Miriam Velez said.

Velez said she lost her son Marine Cpl. Reynold Armand while he was serving in Iraq.

“This is a hero that we can never forget,” Velez said. “Not just my son but everybody in general, because this is something that was meant for them. They knew what they were getting into the risks that they were getting into when they signed up."

Velez said she’s grateful for this tribute, one to remember the sacrifice of so many, not just the fallen, but their loved ones as well.

“This is more special, because this is more recent and it shows the young children, our young adults what everybody has sacrificed, no matter what your age is.”

The War on Terror Memorial is located in Gary Beikirch Memorial Park near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on South Avenue in Rochester. The Beikirch Park is the former memorial section of Highland Park.