A comment made in 2006 led to an idea. Six years later that idea began to take seed, and finally, on Sept. 11, 2019, that idea will finally come to fruition, showcasing the hard work of some dedicated veterans and honoring the brave men and women who have served our Country.
This year marks the 18th anniversary of one of the worst tragedies in American history, a tragedy that would bring together Americans from every walk of life to unite under the banner of freedom.
On this Sept. 11, the men and women who fought to protect that freedom will be honored as the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee dedicates their 13-year labor of love, the Freedom Monument at Riverview Cemetery.
At 7:10 p.m. on Sept. 11, a ceremony will be held at the cemetery to dedicate the monument. The ceremony will include live patriotic music until 7:30 p.m., followed by speakers from the Military Affairs Committee, Command Master Chief Tim Preabt and Williston Mayor Howard Klug. After the ceremony, the public will be given the chance to take a closer look at the monument, including the recently installed electronic kiosk, which the committee says will help educate visitors on the monument. For those who stick around until the sun goes down, they’ll hear “Find the Cost of Freedom” by Styx playing from the kiosk, which will play a portion of the song every day when the sun goes down.
Seating will be available at the ceremony, but will be limited. Organizers encourage attendees to bring their own chairs or blankets, as well as prepare for possible inclement weather.
Designed by David Njos, the monument stands as a living memorial to those who served in combat and peacekeeping missions after the Vietnam War. Njos is also the designer behind the cemetery’s Korean/Vietnam Monument in Veterans Plaza.
The Military Affairs Committee as been raising funds for the monument’s construction since 2012, but did not begin construction until May 2019. Work moved at a fevered pace in preparation for the Monument’s big day, with the final pieces coming together over the last few weeks to complete the Monument’s facade. Chair of the Military Affairs Committee Grant Carns said the monument is meant to be “liquid,” so that service members involved in any future conflicts will be honored as well.