Memorial honors Baltimore Co. soldiers

Posted at 11:34 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 23:34:26-04

This weekend, Baltimore County will break ground on a memorial honoring local soldiers who died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

"It's going to be dedicated to the veterans of  Operation Iraqi Freedom and OEF which is the one in Afghanistan," Sergeant Sean Lawlor and one of the committee members working on the project, told ABC2.
Lawlor is a Marine who served two tours in Iraq.
"When this whole thing started to formulate and come together, I wanted to be a part of it just because obviously my ties to the wars and I have a lot of friends from the community that served," Sgt. Lawlor said.
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For him, this project was the definition of a labor of love.
"The main portion of it is a large stone that's very rough and a desert, tannish color it's kind of representative of a lot of the rocks in Iraq or Afghanistan," he said. "I lost a brother what was an Iraq vet who was killed in a crash in 2004, his name will be on the stone." 
That stone will sit just steps from the county's Vietnam War Veteran's Memorial; the names of 26 Baltimore County soldiers etched into it. 
"These people committed to serving their country, they left their home and their communities and were killed in the service of their country,"  Sgt. Lawlor said.
"We have to be reminded, particularly younger people what happened on 911 and what happened to those who went in foreign wars to try to keep this country safe," said Baltimore County Councilman David Marks.
Thanks to private donors, state funding and the help of local leaders, the memorial will break ground Sunday.
"I was reading in VFW magazine that there were no monuments to the soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines that fought and or died in these conflicts," said Michael Lawlor, the president of The Baltimore County Monument Commission.
Lawlor helped create the Vietnam War Veteran's Memorial and will oversee the building of the new one.
"I think it's time that these people get recognition from the county community," he said.
For the those who made this happen, it's about never forgetting those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 
"I think my constituents would agree that it's fitting to recognize all those who've served in our conflicts so that their sacrifices can endure," Marks said.
"There's 26 names that are on it that come fro our community and I think it's very important that the community properly honor  these individuals for their sacrifice and their service," Sgt. Lawlor said.
Close to $180,000 dollars was raised for the project. The groundbreaking is Sunday, May 29th and a dedication ceremony is planned for November 5th.

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