Posted at: 09/09/2012 10:44 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
Community gathers to remember veterans at memorial
(ABC 6 News) -- Just two days before the eleventh anniversary of the terror attacks on September 11th, the Austin community came together to honor our veterans.
Nearly 100 people joined in a ceremony at Veteran's Memorial Park in Austin honoring fallen soldiers from our area.
"It's something we can't forget," said Norman Lee Hecimovich, Chairman of Veteran's Memorial Committee.
It was a chance for reflection and rememberance. For both the vitcims of September 11, 2001 and those who have fought in battle and in peace time.
"The freedoms we have are only because there were people that were willing to step forward and serve our country," said Hecimovich.
Behind reminders of what they fought for, some of those people's names, now listed in Veteran's Memorial Park.
"I walk through here so many times and there are some people that I knew, but I didn't even know they were veterans," said Hecimovich.
The memorial was created in the early 90s, with names of those who had passed while fighting in combat. But in the past few years, an addition was built, honoring veterans who have died once they have returned from war.
"We still have men and women that are dying daily yet. And it's very sad, it makes some of us older veterans kind of weep a little bit," said Roland Hanson.
Sunday, the community and veterans gathered to celebrate that new addition.
"We have to thank all of our men and women who have fought for us in all the previous wars and hopefully not to many future ones," said Hanson.
"It's so important that we honor and support those that have served our country and those that are serving our country," added Hecimovich.
For many in the community, that memorial hits close to home. Lawrence Mcalister and his brother fought in the Korean War.
"My mother didn't like it, I know that," he said.
He made it home, but his brother did not. Now his name will forever be remembered on this memorial.
"It makes me feel good to see it," he added.
And with a salute, those that worked for the memorial, hope the same will be true of all Veterans too.
The ceremony itself didn't last a very long time, but many of the visitors spent a lot of time looking through the names. As for Patriot Day, there will be a ceremony in Austin to honor those that were killed on September 11, 2001. Beyond The Yellow Ribbon will hold a ceremony at 6 p.m. on Main Street and Second Ave.