SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Tears and great appreciation for our young American heroes… A large crowd gathered today to see a traveling memorial for those killed in the war on terror.
It was a solemn ceremony at McDade park.
Dozens of umbrellas held overhead as this large crowd spent hours out in the rain to honor military members killed in action since Sept. 11, 2001.
“He was 21, but he had just become sergeant and we were really proud of that,” said Cynthia Slebodnik, mother.
Cynthia’s son, Sergeant Eric Slebodnik, is featured on the memorial.
“He loved what he was doing. He died doing what he loved doing,” said Slebodnik.
The traveling memorial is made up of 30 towers — each 15 feet tall. About five-thousand American heroes are pictured here. With a picture of them in uniform and a picture of them with family or as a child.
“Just makes me feel that he is being appreciated for what he did,” said Alexander Lloyd.
The 14-year-old is here to honor his uncle, Sergeant Dale Lloyd.
“He died when I was one-year-old and I have no memories of him,” said Lloyd.
This is the first time the memorial has made a stop in Pennsylvania.
“I’m afraid of people forgetting. So to have this going around the United States, it’s a real honor,” said Slebodnik.
During the ceremony, all the names on the memorial were read aloud, plus two-thousand additional names of local heroes who are in the process of being added to the wall.
The memorial is open to the public, free of charge, through Tuesday, 9/11 from dawn to dusk.