Ground broken for memorial honoring Connecticut service members

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Street-level view of plans for new Veterans Memorial Street-level view of plans for new Veterans Memorial
Bird's eye view of plan for new Veterans Memorial Bird's eye view of plan for new Veterans Memorial

A groundbreaking ceremony took place Monday for the first memorial that will honor Connecticut veterans from all wars.

Currently, there is a garden with empty dirt along Capitol Avenue in Hartford.

By the end of this year, the plan is to have a structure with five columns representing each branch of the military.

It's the first state memorial to honor all 1.3 million Connecticut men and women who have served since the Revolutionary War.

George Caron of Avon was with a marine unit at Iwo Jima in World War II, and while Connecticut already has a memorial recognizing that day, he's glad to see something honoring even more veterans.

"I think the veterans of Vietnam should have been recognized a long time ago," Caron said. "Not the way they were treated, that was terrible."

The final design of this memorial may be slightly different than the plans look right now because it was originally supposed to be on a bigger piece of land across from the State Veterans Home in Rocky Hill.

"Well we had to compress because we had like 8 or 10 acres and here we've got like an acre and a half, " said Jim Shelmerdine, who is a veteran of the Korean War. "So, we had to close in. We've done good."

According to state officials, $500,000 of the money for the new Veterans Memorial was received through bonding with another $100,000 through donations.

However, officials said they still need $100,000.

The memorial will be built in front of the state armory in front of the State Armory.

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