Citrus County group seeks to repair Fallen Heroes Monument in Crystal River

By Leah Masuda, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017, 8:02 AM EDT

A Citrus County non-profit says the monument the community looks to for remembrance of local soldiers is falling to disrepair.

"This is our way of keeping their name alive. This is history, and this is part of Citrus County," said Barbara Mills, parent of three veterans.

More than 70 names of soldiers who gave their lives decorate the Citrus County Fallen Heroes Monument in Bicentennial Park in Crystal River. What isn't written is their stories.

Patricia Flanagan's son, Dennis, was killed in battle in 2006.

"He said tell them not to cry over me, to remember me as that weird goofy guy that everybody could depend on, smile bigger, fight harder, and never forget your brothers," Flanagan said, remembering what her son told her the day before he died.

Part of never forgetting for Flanagan is having her son's name on the wall with his brothers, but the monument is beginning to fall apart.

"They're just literally coming off the base," Mills said of the plaques. "So by taking them all off, refinishing that surface, and putting them back on, and re-grouting, we hope that’s going to solve the problem."

The non-profit Citrus County Fallen Heroes says it could cost about $8,000 to fix it.

"These men are still here in many ways, and the people that knew them, but in the future the only way people are going to know who they were is if they could read their name," Flanagan said.

The memorial was built in 2003.

If you'd like to donate to the cause, please click here.