An attempt to document the names and faces of area war veterans is being deemed a success today.
Nearly 100 responded to the News-Record's call for World War II and Korean War veterans.
“The response was almost overwhelming,” said Krista Duhon, managing editor of the News-Record. “We appreciate the willingness of our area veterans to participate in this project and we are certainly thankful that they were patient through the registration process.”
Miami Mayor Brent Brassfield addressed the veterans as they gathered for group photographs.
“No words can I say this evening that will do you justice for the personal sacrifices made by you and your families to protect this country,” Brassfield said. “In our society, we loosely throw around words like ‘heroes' … but, you are truly heroes and I very much appreciate your willingness to share your experiences. Yours is a story that must be told.”
Wednesday's launch of “Operation Remember” is the first step in creating an archive of area veterans. Similar events will follow as the News-Record will add veterans of subsequent wars.
In the meantime, interviews are being arranged with veterans who are willing to share their service experiences.
“This is such an important project,” Duhon said. “These men and women must be forever remembered for their contributions. We stand here today in a country where our freedoms are envied. That privilege is a direct result of the sacrifices of our veterans who fought ferociously to protect those freedoms.”
Brassfield vowed Wednesday to bring back a Veterans Day parade to Miami, saying it was the one parade event that the City of Miami should never allow to again fall by the wayside.
Other discussions among the crowded floor of veterans included the desire to create a veterans memorial - a place where generations to come can go to see the names of area war veterans inscribed in stone.
“I think a memorial is a wonderful idea,” Duhon said. “The first step in getting there has been taken as we, the News-Record, makes this commitment to oversee this perpetual project. It is daunting, but worth every minute of our time.”