Visiting Memorial To Fallen In Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A memorial called ‘Remembering Our Fallen' is open to the public in McDade Park in Lackawanna County.

The traveling memorial arrived Thursday by motorcade and will remain in the park in Scranton through September 11.

"I'm here just to pay a little respect to the fallen heroes that this country just keeps generating because of the amazing country that this is. I think it's amazing that this area gets the privilege of seeing something like this,” said Michael McCawley of Scranton.

The monument features 30 towers, each 15 feet high, that displays names, personal and military photos and explanations of how the men and women died.

There are more than 4,700.

Among the faces are more than 20 from Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

Staff Sgt. Steven Tudor of Dunmore was killed in 2007 by hostile fire in Iraq.

His sister, Kendra Lynn of Tunkhannock, worked to bring this memorial to the area,

"The first couple years after he died, I didn't do anything, I was kind of in a funk. I didn’t know what to do. It took me like four years to finally realize that I need to honor him. I need to honor all the ones that gave their lives for us. Having him here makes me feel close to him."

Among the visitors Friday was veteran Bill Banks of Old Forge. He says most people do not understand the sacrifice of fighting for their country.

"Most people don’t have any idea. People who work with vets, therapists and stuff like that, you know they know but regular people, not too much,” he said.

This is the first time the memorial been displayed in Pennsylvania.

“It's important that we remember their legacy and what they did, and this, unfortunately, will be their legacy that you know they did give their life for our freedom,” said Lynn.

Mike Argonish intertwined a rose in the spokes of the tower that displays his son's photograph. His son, Sgt. Jan Michael Argonish, died in 2007 fighting in Afghanistan.

His father says it's more than just his personal sacrifice that brings him to the memorial in McDade Park.

"It gives me relief in my grief but it gives me sorrow in all of the grief that's here that other people shared," Argonish said.

Argonish says all of the military members displayed on the memorial's walls died honorably.

"They know what the ultimate sacrifice is and they were prepared to give it and they did."

Daniel McLaughlin also lost his son in the War on Terror though his son is not pictured in the memorial, at least not yet. For now, he's honoring those who fought alongside his son.

"Today, I got to find some of the pictures of some of the gentlemen the young men that I know who were killed over there," McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin tells Newswatch 16 he escorts this memorial on the motorcycle that used to belong to his son.

"Being part of this means more to me that I can explain. It brings back a lot of memories and brings out a lot of sadness but it also gives me a lot of pride that I can see that all these young men and women are being remembered."

Both fathers say folks should visit the wall in order to understand the sacrifices associated with the war that is still going on in the middle east.

"They volunteered their lives," said McLaughlin. "They signed a document that said they would give their life for this country if they had to and they had done it."

A special opening ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the memorial followed by the reading of more than 6,900 names of veterans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001.

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