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Hancock veterans memorial dedicated

November 11, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Hancock veterans memorial dedicated



Robert C. McCusker cried tears of joy Saturday as he cut the ribbon formally unveiling his dream - a monument to Hancock veterans.

"I always wondered why there was no monument in Hancock. Then 30, maybe 32 years ago, I had a dream that I'd build a monument," McCusker said.

In 1992, McCusker went to Hancock Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10502 and asked for and received their commitment to the project.

McCusker, a World War II veteran and Hancock VFW commander, said the monument honors all from Hancock who served in the military, the living and the dead.

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"Every man that gave his time is what we wanted to honor. We're honoring them for their time," he said.

The mostly granite memorial stands at Widmeyer Park in Hancock. The monument is etched with the names of about 900 Hancock veterans who served in the military from the Civl War through the Persian Gulf War.

"We just wanted to honor everyone who answered the call," said Daniel R. Fleming, quartermaster at the Hancock VFW.

State Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, said it was a "wonderful day in the life of this Hancock community."

Munson said the monument is a "powerful reminder of our freedom ... how we gained it ... how we kept it."

Anna Mason, 77, of Hancock, has three brothers whose names are engraved on the monument.

"It's wonderful. It's just the beauty of the thing," Mason said.

Construction of the monument began about two years ago, and has cost $100,000.

The Hancock VFW contributed $55,000, with the remaining $45,000 coming from individuals, businesses and civic groups.

The Hancock VFW is establishing a trust fund to pay for maintenance and future improvements to the monument.

Those interested can mail contributions to: Hancock War Memorial Committee c/o Vickie Hott, Treasurer, 1A Center St. Hancock, MD 21750.

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