NEW BRITAIN - A group of area veterans is trying to raise enough money to put a War on Terror monument in Central Park by Sept. 11, the 17th anniversary of the 2001 attacks.
TGM Northwest Veterans, which has members from New Britain and around the area, wanted to honor those who have served since 9/11 and in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said member Dana Fitzsimmons. “It will be for all branches of the service including the National Guard,” Fitzsimmons said.
The group wanted to do something for younger veterans who haven’t really been recognized for their service, Fitzsimmons said. “We’re all veterans. I’m a Vietnam veteran; we know how we were treated when we got home,” he said. “Right now, they aren’t being recognized.”
The monument would be placed next to the Vietnam and Korean War monument, said group member Dennis Taricani, who heads the group’s War on Terror efforts. They are hoping to have a formal dedication with civic leaders, veterans, political leaders, military personnel who are serving and veterans’ organizations, followed by a celebration on the day the monument is unveiled, he said.
The group has been working for close to two years to get the monument installed, Taricani said. But it will need another $6,500 in the next few weeks in order to have it completed and installed by Sept. 11.
The New Britain Memorial Funeral Home donated the monument and the city has given its approval, but the group has to pay for the foundation, he said.
“We’ve had two dances and a pasta supper,” Taricani said. “We raised $10,000, but the foundation for the monument costs $16,500. We need to give the manufacturer two months’ notice, so we need to raise the money quickly.”
The group has started a Gofundme page on which people can donate.
Those interested in donating can also send checks, payable to The Northwest Veterans Memorial Fund, to 140 Curtis St., New Britain, CT 06052.