All Wars POW/MIA Monument Erected in Endicott

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Sep 18, 2009 at 7:08 PM EDT

There are currently 88-thousand missing military men and women.

Today, a monument in Endicott is erected in their honor.

Action News Reporter Caitlin Nuclo takes us to the American Legion Post 1700 for the dedication ceremony.

Alfred McQuade was a prisoner of war for nearly 3 years during the Korean War.

"We were beaten we were starved we were hung up I was tortured in many different ways I have scars all over my face and back," said McQuade.

This All-Wars POW/MIA Memorial is in honor of his service to the country.

And the thousands of military men and women who are being held captive, or are still missing in action overseas.

"What we have here and why we have it, is because of what that monument stands for. The five branches of service who have served our world and our country," said Commander of the American Legion Post 1700, Barbara Beebe.

The words Duty, Honor and Country are engraved on the bottom of the monument.

Planted next to the black granite memorial are 5 bushes, to represent each branch of the military.

"Without them, we would not be free today. So freedom is not free," said Beebe.

That's a saying that sticks with Frank George, who hopes his story touches the younger generation.

He fought and was captured in World War II.

"Escaped twice, made it once." "It brings back memories, good ones and bad ones, sometimes I think of the friends that I met sometimes I think of the friends that I lost which bears with you all of your life," said George.

The friends he lost, have made the ultimate sacrifice to our country.

George and McQuade say they won't be forgotten.

"I feel like the king of the mountain because I'm here. I'm one of the few that had made it through and I feel very honored," said McQuade.

And honored to be at the American Legion memorial dedication and pay tribute to those who haven't made it home yet.

Today's dedication ceremony was also in honor of Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl who is currently being held as a POW in Afghanistan.

And PFC Matt Maupin, a POW who's body was found in March of 2008.

The monument cost roughly 15-thousand dollars.

It was funded through donations and state money which Assembly woman Donna Lupardo helped secure.

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