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Memorial for soldiers lost during Afghanistan, Iraq wars

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said on Monday that a memorial in Eisenhower Park to commemorate soldiers who died in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars is currently in the planning stage. It will be one of the first in the state to honor soldiers who died in these wars.

“Not only will it be honoring the soldiers who have died in service, but we will also be honoring those who died by suicide,” said Virginia Cervasio of Heroes Among Us, a non-profit that will be working with the county to establish the monument. “My son Angelo was 24. Fifteen years ago he came home from deployment and because of it he suffered from PTSD and he took his life.”

The county has entered into a public and private partnership with Heroes Among Us to raise money for the design, commission and establishment of an advisory committee for a new monument in the East Meadow park.

“This October will mark 20 years since the war in Afghanistan,” Curran said. “Since then more than 7,000 Americans have lost their lives in those conflicts and more than 2.5 million Americans have served in both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many of those veterans call Nassau County home.”

It is anticipated that work on the new memorial should break ground this fall.

“The county will lay the foundation for the memorial and of course, we will assume responsibility for the upkeep and the maintenance of the memorial,” Curran said. “We must ensure that present and future generations continue to appreciate the sacrifice that our veterans in all wars have made to protect our freedoms.”

Curran was joined by Deputy Executive for Compliance John Chiara, an Iraq War veteran himself, Ralph Esposito, the executive director for the office of veteran affairs, Cervasio, Tom Tack of Northrop Grumman and local veterans.

Heroes Among Us has already committed $10,000 towards the memorial.

“This park is about memorials dedicated to every branch of service, every war and it’s time that we recognize those Iraqi, Afghanistan vets,” said Esposito. “If you got a few extra dollars, send it in. We need it.”

Cervasio said Heroes Among Us, which offers programs for veterans in Nassau County, is enthusiastic to assist in the establishment of this new memorial.

“We’ve been pretty clear here in Nassau County that out commitment to veterans is sacred,” said Curran. “These men and women fought for our freedoms and we want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to protect them, help them and get the, the services they deserve.”

To make a contribution towards the memorial, contact Heroes Among Us at

(239) 834-9240 or info@heroesamongus24.org.

Eligible veterans are now able to receive their vaccines at Nassau University Medical Center. To make an appointment and learn more, call the VSA at (516) 572-6565.