9:45 am
Wed August 19, 2009

Powell Helps Dedicate Tonawanda Veterans Memorial

Buffalo, NY – Former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell paid honor to all veterans at a memorial dedication Tuesday in Tonawanda.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's full story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.

Several hundred men, women, children and service members from all branches of the military turned out to pay tribute to Tonawanda's veterans. The memorial took years of planning and fundraising to erect the seven foot tall granite sculpture. It is surrounded on a hill by flagstaffs with flags of each branch of the military flying overhead.

Peter Rizzo initiated the idea of a memorial to honor his grandfather, a World War II veteran, as well as the veterans of all wars. Rizzo also is co-chair of the committee that raised $100,000 for the monument. He said only the names are etched in the stone, not ranks, to recognize service above all else.

General Colin Powell echoed his words. And Powell said every generation of veterans is great. He said they served and continue to serve the United States selflessly. Powell said citizens also should be inspired to return the favor. He said we owe veterans more than just honor and memorials.

Powell spoke for about ten minutes before leaving for a motivational event downtown. He declined questions from reporters, including questions about his position on the current health care debate.