GLENS FALLS — As the tarp was pulled off of the Global War on Terrorism Monument, Belinda Ellis began to fight off tears on Saturday at Crandall Park, giving the ceremonial hugs to all who contributed.
Ellis, the monument committee’s co-director, has raised money for the past six years to garner the funds for the monument.
“(It’s) a sense of accomplishment, relief, just a lot of emotions. And that I am cold,” Ellis said after the unveiling.
When she was speaking at the podium just before the monument was unveiled, she recollected on her fundraising baby: The annual motorcycle ride that begins at the monument’s location.
That ride, however, did not go smoothly in 2017.
“On my way here, I was in an accident and when the commander showed up on the scene, I started to cry because I was the only one who knew the (motorcycle) route,” Ellis said. “They had to call the ambulance. … It wasn’t the fact that I wasn’t worried about myself, but I was worried I was not going to have that fundraiser for the monument.”
Many spoke during the event to celebrate the work and effort put into the monument.
“It’s a way to give something back to those soldiers that fought for us over the years,” VFW Post 2475 Commander Michael Hoag said.
American Legion Post 233 Commander Carl Fosco recalled the moment the organization was debating how much to give to the monument.
He said he was with Rob McAvoy and Tom Burns. They started off with wondering if $500 is appropriate, then $1,500 and it continued to go upward.
“That’s how it went from 500 to 5,000 in about five minutes,” Fosco said. “Anyway, we are certainly glad to give to this.”
The monument at Crandall Park is in the center of a triangle plot of land that is adjacent to the large parking lot. The area will be beautified in the spring.
“We are hometown, USA, because we support the veterans,” Glens Falls Mayor Dan Hall said. “We are very honored to have the monument in Crandall Park. This monument will keep it fresh in our minds and our hearts that the veterans and the solders that are out there today are protecting us.”
Juanita Salas-Jackson also spoke at the event. She is a state trooper, military liaison for the State Police and 1st sergeant for the 962nd Ordinance Company in the Army Reserves.