Western Nevada County veterans of World War II are pleased that their blood, sweat and tears will be recognized today when the National World War II Memorial is dedicated by President Bush in Washington, D.C.
The memorial honors the 16 million Americans who served – and the 400,000 who died – in a war that started more than 62 years ago and has been called the defining event of the 20th century.
“I think it’s great, finally,” said Glenn Slicker of Grass Valley, an airborne engineer who served in the 101st and 82nd airborne divisions. “It’s been a long enough time and something that could have been done long ago.”
Slicker has seen pictures of the memorial, on the east end of the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, and believes the design is appropriate.
“I wish I could be there,” he said, “but I’ll definitely watch it on television.”
Jerry Davis, 79, of Cedar Ridge, will also be watching the dedication ceremonies and plans to visit the site in July, “even though I don’t get around very quickly anymore.”
“As a veteran, it’s nice to see a memorial to the entire group,” he said Friday. “There are memorials around the D.C. area dedicated to several outfits, and that’s probably delayed a national memorial.”
Davis visited the site during earlier trips to the capital and believes “it’s a great spot. A friend took some pictures for me after they opened it in April, and it looks very nice.”
The memorial was first proposed in 1987 and authorized by Congress in 1993. The memorial was built over a three-year period for $17 million, money donated by the public.
“It’s fine with me,” said Harry Myers of the Alta Sierra area, who entered military service in the U.S. Army and went on to a career in the Air Force. “Better late than never.”
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