Port St. Lucie honors Iraq, Afghanistan veterans with new monument – WPEC

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Port St. Lucie is set to unveil a monument dedicated to honoring Floridians who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The monument will formally open April 20 at Veterans Memorial Park.

The selection of Port St. Lucie as the site for this monument followed an extensive survey conducted by the Iraq and Afghanistan War Memorial Foundation, which considered over 50 potential locations across Florida.

“This memorial will be a place of reflection, honor, and appreciation, ensuring that those who served in these wars are never forgotten,” said City Councilman David Pickett, an Army veteran who completed two combat tours.

Crafted from India Black Granite, the same material used for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the new monument will feature campaign ribbons, country outlines and service emblems, according to a news release. Notably, it will bear the names of 355 Floridians who lost their lives in these wars, marking the first such state memorial to individually honor military personnel fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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The decision to locate the monument in Port St. Lucie was made in 2022, with fundraising efforts completed by June 2023, enabling construction to commence. The monument comprises three black granite panels, each measuring six feet tall by four feet wide and eight inches thick.

Once unveiled, the monument will join others in Veterans Memorial Park commemorating past American conflicts, including World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The park also features memorials honoring Purple Heart recipients and Gold Star families.

For the dedication event, the southbound right-hand lane on Veterans Memorial Parkway will be closed. Attendees are advised to park at Veterans Rivergate Park, with a free shuttle service available to transport them to the event location. Handicap parking will be provided along the shoulder of the right-hand lane.

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