They paid the ultimate sacrifice, and now plans are moving forward on a statewide memorial honoring dozens of Connecticut soldiers who have lost their lives in the War on Terror.
Organizers of the movement said it's pretty fitting that they're going to build the memorial at Veterans' Memorial Park in Middletown. A tree will be planted for every Connecticut service member who has been killed while serving and protecting our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, essentially turning the spot into a living memorial.
"Ever since Steven was killed, it's sort of been my mission to keep his spirit alive and this fits perfectly with it," said Diane DeLuzio.
DeLuzio has seen the plans and already knows where her son's spot will be located.
Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Steven DeLuzio lost his life two years ago this month in Afghanistan.
Now he and 62 other Connecticut service members who have died will be remembered.
It's called the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial.
"There will be flowering trees planted on each side of the path," said landscape architect Tom Linden. "You'll be walking through trees, one for each soldier explaining who they are."
Group organizers said they hope to break ground next spring, and now they're looking for donations both big and small to turn it into a reality.
"We're looking for funding from major corporations, individuals, companies and citizens," said Chairwoman Sue Martucci. "We'd like everyone in the state to have a hand in building this memorial."
The memorial will provide a peaceful setting for remembrance and reflection.
"As we watch the trees grow, each year will be another year he's gone," Diane DeLuzio said. "But it will be comforting to see they're growing."
The group is expected to hold a big fundraiser next month. To find out how you can buy tickets or donate, you can check out the Connecticut Trees of Honor website by clicking here.
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