New Veterans' Memorial

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Looking down on a sea of names that stretch across the new veterans' memorial wall, Freeport resident Jack Stine finds what he was looking for...right here. "I was in Korea and they called us the mosquitos. They worked with fighter bombers as well as artillery in marking and finding targets," Stine said. The Korean War vet joined his family Saturday for a special ceremony in Freeport, marking the opening of the All Veterans Memorial Park of Stephenson County. "Just proud to be a part of it, it's humbling really," Stine said. This memorial park is the first of its kind for Stephenson County. It pays tribute to roughly 22-hundred deceased and living veterans from World War Two and the Korean War. "Seeing these names, I mean, they're names we know and that's neat to see that, " said Susan Witte. She says having a local memorial for people, like her father Jack, hopefully will breed understanding and interest from younger generations. Her father says, if there's any lesson to learn, it's a simple motto that he lived by in the Korean War. "Freedom is not free and we all need to understand that," Stine said. Along with the memorial walls, special bricks are starting to line another area of the memorial site, keeping alive the names and memories of american heroes. Planning for the memorial started six years ago. It cost $300,000 to build and all of that money came from donations.