POW memorial dedicated at Miramar National Cemetery

City News Service

A 15-foot-tall bronze, concrete and stainless steel monument to prisoners of war was dedicated in front of about 350 people Friday at the Miramar National Cemetery in honor of National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

From left, sculptor Richard Becker and Ralph Kling, vice commander of American Ex-Prisoners of War, San Diego Chapter 1, and Frank Burger, 90, commander of Chapter 1. Photo: William Heard

“The Liberation Moment” statue was sponsored by the San Diego chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War, which was created in 1942 by the mothers of two POWs as the Bataan Relief Organization.

The statue by Poway artist Richard Becker depicts a skinny soldier in ragged trousers reaching out with his hand while surrounded by broken fence posts and busted barbed wire, symbolizing his emergence from captivity. An eagle soars from the fence.

“It was an honor and challenge to convey what these veterans went through,” Becker told The Poway News-Chieftain, adding that the monument is meant to represent all POWs in past, current and future wars.

Seals at the base of the statue represent all five armed services.

“Visitors to the cemetery who see this monument will realize the sacrifice that American soldiers made to keep freedom alive around the world,”
said Ralph Kling, the vice commander of the POW chapter. “They’ll remember
that the veterans buried here at Miramar gave their all, and we’re fortunate to
be able to recognize them.”

The organization’s commander, 93-year-old Frank Burger, presented the monument to museum officials during the dedication ceremony. Burger was a POW
for eight months after his B-24 bomber was shot down over Hungary in World War
II.

He said when he came to San Diego in 1984, there already was talk about
a new local military cemetery.

“I thought how nice it would be to honor all prisoners of war with a statue in the cemetery, because I remember how I felt when I was liberated on May 1, 1945,” Burger said.

The cemetery at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is almost two years old and augments the nearly full burial grounds at Fort Rosecrans.

Related posts:

  1. Miramar National Cemetery’s first casket burial salutes Army medic, vets advocate
  2. First burials held at new Miramar National Cemetery
  3. Fair opens today in Del Mar
  4. New Disneyland parade takes to Main Street
  5. Wet road conditions bring surge of crashes

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=50515

Posted by Staff on Sep 16, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, News, Region. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • More water storage and renewed calls for conservation July 26, 2014
    As local and state officials heighten their calls for conservation, the San Diego Water Authority this month celebrated the completion of a project that goes a long way toward ensuring water reliability for the region. The $416 million San Vicente Dam Raise project is finished. Raising the height of the dam in Lakeside greatly increases the reservoir’s capac […]
  • California Chiropractic Association elects Del Mar practitioner as president July 25, 2014
    The California Chiropractic Association, the Sacramento-based statewide, nonprofit organization of chiropractic doctors and allied industries, announced that Brian Stenzler, a San Diego and Del Mar-based doctor of chiropractic, was elected to serve as president of CCA. He succeeds Matt Hubbard, also of San Diego, who now serves as Immediate Past President. […]
  • Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team tops in division at 2014 Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    The Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team took first place in the 2014 Albion Cup (Girls U9 Cup) on July 18-21. They beat Carlsbad United’s top GU9 team in the semi-finals and went on to shut out Strikers FC in the finals, 4-0. Awesome tournament play by the entire team! […]