“I served in World War Two, 76th infantry division, 304th battalion, company I, third army, under General Patton,” said veteran John Neggia.
Neggia was an infantryman and says it was hard work, especially under the famed general. According to Neggia, General George Patton’s nickname was “blood and guts,” because of his tenacity during the war.
“It was our blood, and his guts, that’s how we went. When we lost a person in the front line, he would put two in his place,” he said.
Neggia fought in Patton’s third army when he was only 17. While many of the fallen from WWII and other wars were honored at the ceremony, the monument honors both the living and the dead.
Community members were encouraged to buy $50 bricks and have the name of a loved one who has served, or is serving, engraved in it to be memorialized forever within the monument’s walls.
“For me, it’s important to make sure we never forget those who didn’t make it home,” said Eddie Kerns, a Vietnam War veteran.
More than 250 bricks were sold, contributing almost $13,000 to the $25,000 project. Many veterans say this project is truly priceless.
“It’s a blessing to not forget these guys,” said Ulysses Carriker, a Korean war veteran.
“We have to honor those that are lost,” added Neggia. “They are our heroes, we are not.”