Trees of Honor needs help with fundraising efforts - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Trees of Honor needs help with fundraising efforts

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MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) -

A plan to honor Connecticut's hometown heroes is gaining some attention and getting one step closer to becoming a reality.

Once its completed, the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial will recognize every Connecticut soldier killed in the war on terror.

Inside Terminal A at Bradley International Airport, the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial set up two displays. In the displays, there are 64 gold stars for Connecticut's hometown heroes killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The newest star is for Army Capt. Andrew Pedersen Keel killed last month.

This is just a model and they're using the display for some much needed exposure. It will eventually be built at Middletown Veterans Memorial Park with a tree and plaque for each service member.

Diane DeLuzio's son, Sgt. Steven DeLuzio, was killed 2 1/2 years ago in Afghanistan.

"It took a few days to put the display together and people would stop and talk about it," said Diane DeLuzio. "They knew somebody, who knew somebody who lost someone."

The display will be set up until September.

In the fall, officials want to start building and until then they'll continue to raise funds for the project.

Officials are applying for grants, reaching out to large corporations and even individuals.

"Part of the memorial will be brick pavers," said Diane DeLuzio. "There are examples people can look at, and you can buy them for $100 a brick."

In February, the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial officially became a recognized public charity, making fundraising a little easier, but they still need help.

On April 20, the Southington Elks on Main Street will hold a pasta dinner starting at 5 p.m.

For more information on the pasta dinner, click the following link.

As for the memorial, Diane DeLuzio said it comes down to a promise, making sure her son and the others will always be remembered.

"I think that it's personal. You're not just a name or a number, but if you're looking at a face - this is someone who sacrificed for our freedom," she said. "This is what we're doing, trying to get it out and never forget."

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