SFA-75 at POW Tribute
By Roy Cook

The overcast skies lend a somber mood to this September 16, 2011 morning. The 15 foot monument is covered in dark blue drape as we are all waiting for the arrival of the honored guests: POW veterans from 1945 to today. This day, listed in the dedication ceremony program as featured speakers, are former officials and current officeholders of the National cemetery and Veterans Affairs: Alonzo Padilla, Anthony Principi and Keynote speaker Steve Muro.

American Ex-Prisoners of War San Diego Chapter 1 Commander Frank Burger, Tom Crosby, and Ralph King announced the insertion of a time capsule and remembered those past members and along with many attending members applauded the sculptor, Richard Becker.

The 'Libration Moment' monument conveys the excitement, trepidation, exhilaration and emotion of the liberation moment as the emaciated veteran steps out of the darkness into the 'Sunshine of Freedom'. Remarkably, after the unveiling of the monument the Sun breaks out of the clouds to add its warmth to the day.

There were over 150 families and veterans attending this dedication of the first monument on the grounds of the Miramar National Cemetery. In support were the San Diego United Veterans Council and the American Indian Warriors Association along with the Special Forces Association chapter 75 officers and members.

This was an honorable occasion and opportunity to gratefully shake the hand and talk to many WW II, Korea, Vietnam and USS Pueblo POWs'. A tip of the Beret to them all!