Monday, August 24, 2009

Tucker memorial came about through a town's love of their son

With Oregonians involved in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, war memorials dedicated to Oregonians aren't a new subject.

But what was particularly noteworthy about the memorial unveiled in Friendship Park in Madras, Ore., yesterday honoring Pfc. Thomas Tucker, was how the memorial came about.

According to Holly Van Wert, the Director of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, students from Madras High School initiated the drive to build the memorial.

Students organized the drive, raised funding, and coordinated the design of the memorial, which depicts Tucker in his uniform, reaching out to a young Iraqi girl who is cowering amid the rubble of war. (See above photo)

During the ceremony, WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, Bob Maxwell, summed up the design of the memorial succinctly; "The true heart of the soldier is depicted here," he said.

Maxwell went on to say that while the soldier is sworn to protect the values of his country, he is also there to "preserve life, and to provide solace."

Van Wert said the students at Madras High School didn't want the statue to represent just one person, but rather, it represents all who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of freedom throughout the world, she said.

Fitting that the love of one of Madras' sons, given so freely for his country, would be given back to all veterans tenfold by an entire town.

Here is a video report by television station KTVZ:

Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon National Guard Social Media Manager
Photo by Sgt. Eric Rutherford,
Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office

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