Updated: Wednesday, 24 Aug 2011, 1:07 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 24 Aug 2011, 12:22 PM EDT
East Haven, Conn. (WTNH) - A retired firefighter is taking steps to make sure that heroes from the greatest generation are not forgotten by bringing back a piece of East Haven history.
Across Old Foxon Road from Lou Mingione's house was an 8 by 10 foot wood sign, listing the people from the Foxon Park neighborhood who went off to fight in World War II. But then, he says, one day in the 1960's, it disappeared.
"And I kept looking over there and I said to my wife one morning 'what happened to the memorial?' And she said 'what memorial?' And I said the war memorial across the street. And she said 'Oh my God, it's gone!'"
Lou never found out what happened, but the monument was special to him. Lou couldn't serve in WWII for medical reasons, but his brother earned the Silver Star for saving two comrades when their tank got blown up. Lou wants to see the monument recreated just like it was.
His neighbor has said he can use a piece of land right across from where the sign used to be.
"I could put it on an angle this way here. I'm debating which way to put it."
The monument will cost $6,500. He's been scraping together his own money, getting people to donate, and he keeps careful track of those who do. And down at Town Hall they have a jar for collecting donations right in the Mayor's Office.
Mayor April Capon says she'll help out any way she can if Lou raises the money. And Lou hopes that happens soon, because he's 87 and has cancer. He knows just what he wants it to look like.
"Put a nice three foot gate all the way around it and trees and I want to do it before I pass on."
"What would it mean to you to see that re-created?"
"Oh my god, I'd jump for joy."
It is still a work in progress as Lou tries to find out all the names that were on the original memorial and raise money to complete it. If you think you can help you can call Lou at 203-469-1824. He said he's fine with getting calls, but if you want to send a check, make it out to:
Foxon Park WWII Honor Roll
C/O Citizen's Bank
430 Foxon Road
East Haven, CT 06513