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Peacoat Monument closer to completion



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June 29, 2011 - Area veterans and their families have waited years for the memorial wall to be erected behind Orion Veterans' Peacoat Monument, located at 312 S. Broadway St.

Sources tell us the wall will be up within a week or two and a date for the wall-welcoming ceremony will follow (stay tuned to future editions of The Review for date and time updates). The Peacoat Monument is a monument dedicated to "all military personnel from all branches of service who have made the supreme sacrifice by giving their lives for this great country and are buried beneath the oceans and seas around the world."

The monument is a bronze pea coat, with bricks in front of it and the wall behind that will soon portray a very special message. The monument was inspired by WWII vet Joe Zikewich, who served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lexington, which was sunk by a Japanese kamikaze pilot during the Battle of the Coral Sea in May, 1942.

Bricks placed in front of the Peacoat Monument have the 47 names of Zikewich's shipmates who lost their lives on that fateful May day.

No names are listed on the wall; however, many people are symbolized. Zikewich has raised $8,500 to help pay for the costs of the wall, along with many other organizations that have contributed money, including a number of local veterans groups.

The engraved bricks placed around the entire memorial park can be purchased and ordered by families or veterans for $125 to $1,000. Go to the Orion Veteran Memorial's website, orionveteransmemorial.com.

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