WXXI AM News

Memorial honoring recent veterans proposed at Highland Park

Dec 11, 2017

Architect's rendering of proposed Freedom Memorial in Highland Park.
Credit Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C.

A committee working to build a memorial for local veterans is asking the public to donate to their campaign.

The Warriors of Freedom Memorial committee wants to place a memorial in Highland Park to honor the sacrifices of men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces from the Persian Gulf War to the current conflict in Afghanistan.

Marine veteran Hector Sotomayor served in Somalia and the Persian Gulf from 1993 to 1997. He is now a sergeant with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.  Sotomayor said veterans of recent decades have not had the kind of recognition they deserve.

"If they did, we'd have memorials like this all over great nation. Unfortunately, it's like everything else; our heroes are often forgotten."

The proposed memorial comes with an estimated price tag of $300,00. State Senator Joe Robach said he has secured $100,000 in state funds.

The veterans committee is hoping to raise an additional $50,000 by February 1 in order to break ground in the spring. The site chosen for the memorial is south of the current Vietnam Veterans memorial.  The two memorials would be connected by a paved path. 

Architects have proposed ten concrete columns with embedded emblems containing the names of Rochester area veterans who served in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan Wars.  The columns would be connected with bluestone capped benches and flanked by two concrete gateways.