by: Philippe Djegal
Posted: Jun 16, 2019 / 04:02 AM PDT / Updated: Jun 16, 2019 / 04:02 AM PDT
LOS GATOS (KRON) — The aesthetic landscape of civic center in Los Gatos is forever changed after today moving forward.
“It’s a great day for all of us,” said Ellen Manzo, who organized a memorial intended to honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice.
Seven years after it was conceptually developed, the flame of liberty was unveiled Saturday, honoring the men and women who fight to protect the United States and died defending our country.
“This is a time when we can respect the military,” said Kent Hillhouse, who retired from the U.S. Army.
First responders were also celebrated, recognized by a century-old fire bell.
Mark Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoagland, and Todd Beamer’s father, David, also shared a moment together on stage, near another component of the memorial remembering their son’s.
Both their sons, who were from Los Gatos, were killed on 9/11, thwarting terrorist’s attempt to crash United Flight 93 into the U.S. capitol.
“I’m so grateful. It’s a lovely day,” Hoagland said.
“The enemy’s goal was our capital, and as much collateral damage as they could inflict, and that part of their mission failed,” David Beamer said.
Manzo, with the veterans memorial and support foundation, says this area was created to give servicemen and women returning from war to serve as a venue to heal.
She says the country’s prisoners of war and the 85,000 soldiers missing in action are remembered here too.
“And, I don’t think anybody, anybody understands freedom any better than somebody who’s had it swiped away as a prisoner of war has often experienced,” Manzo said.
California Assemblyman Evan Low wants future generations to remember the sacrifices servicemen and women have made.
“What’s important is that the generations that will be coming towards the future remember the contributions and the service for those who have sacrificed of themselves, to keep our country safe, and to have the freedoms that we are afforded here today,” the assemblyman said.