NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) -- The mother of a Waterford soldier who was killed in combat is upset her son isn't included in a memorial at town hall.
"Because it's an area that's restful and peaceful it allows some alternative for the people," said First Selectman Dan Steward.
Steward says when a section of city hall was set aside nine years ago, Waterford Marine Kemaphoom Chonawangse had just been killed in Iraq and the search for the remains of Capt. Arnie Holm had resumed in Vietnam.
They are the only two remembered there.
"Why aren't the other folks who have given their lives to their country memorialized here," asked News 8's Tina Detelj.
"It becomes a very difficult question Tina because how many people do you want to recognize," said Steward. "If I took all of the Waterford residents who died in Vietnam I would have all these walls full."
The First Selectman says the mother of another fallen soldier was upset when she saw that her son SSG Ari Cullers and Waterford native Edwin Rivera who were later killed in Afghanistan did not have a place on the wall.
"I was in school with Ari ever since maybe since third grade," said Ashley Wieczorek, "so yeah I'd just like to see his picture in there too."
"Do you think they should all be remembered here at town hall," asked Detelj.
"Yes, but it's not that easy to do," said Jim Sgandurra.
Cullers and Rivera are included in a memorial just outside Waterford town hall. They are remembered among so many others.
The pavers there are donated by family and friends. News 8 found out that while many town halls display the names of those on active duty, not many have a memorial for those who have given their lives for freedom.
"We need to sit down with the veterans organizations," said Steward. "That is the right way to do this rather than just react."
Steward also plans to meet with the families.
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