On Thursday, March 21 (at 10am) there will be a groundbreaking held for a new monument that pays tribute to veterans who have died at the hands of depression and PTSD. According to proponents of the memorial – Harmonie Lodge No. 699 OM – “approximately 20 veterans die each day, due to depression and PTSD.”
The actual memorial is a lifesize silhouette of a soldier carrying two figures. Made of 2-inch thick steel, the inscription reads:
“A tribute to those we will always carry,
and to those we can no longer hold.”
“It is our sincerest goal that this simple monument will help educate the public to this ongoing tragedy, provide a lifeline to the suffering, and honor our heroes for their service, regardless of where they died,” stated Mark Donnelly, the Harmonie Lodge No. 699 OM foundation’s president, who helped to get the initiative underway after one of the Masonic Brothers took his life while battling depression and post-traumatic stress after three deployments in Afghanistan.
While so many people have come together to help find cures and resolve from PTSD, the mental health condition continues to traumatize those who are inflicted, with varying results from treatment and therapy. This new monument will serve as a reminder that none of those who have passed will be forgotten. The memorial effort also signals the ongoing mission of the 501(c)3 Foundation “to support awareness efforts and connect veterans with medical care.”