By Eden Laikin
A monument dedicated to POW/MIAs from the Vietnam War, has been erected at Wantagh Park, as part of a local teen’s project to become an Eagle Scout, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced. The County Executive joined with Eagle Scout candidate Peter Dugan last week, to cut the ribbon for the memorial.
Chapter 82 Vietnam Veterans of America of Nassau County, opened the dedication ceremony by presenting the colors; Kevin White, of Scout Troop 689 was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
“As we mark the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, we renew our commitment to all soldiers and their families,” County Executive Mangano told those gathered. “Our debt of gratitude can never be repaid, but when we gather at monuments such as this, we demonstrate our never ending respect and appreciation.”
Dugan has been designing, and fundraising, for the memorial to the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action, for the last year and a half. He started the project at age 16 – inspired by his Grandfather, a two tour Vietnam Veteran – and has raised over $8,000. The monument is made of black granite and includes a symbolic quote and the POW/MIA symbol.
Peter, along with nearly 25 volunteers, spent the last two weekends in March replacing old wooden posts and preparing the site.
In order to become an Eagle Scout a boy must complete a community service project, in addition to earning a minimum of 21 merit badges and other requirements.
“The brave men and women of all of our Armed Forces put themselves in harm’s way, day after day, to protect our nation, our families and the rights that we hold so dear,” Mangano said. “For that I will always be grateful.”