Fallen heroes honored: Remembering their service and sacrifice

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CLEVELAND- Prayer begins the rededication of the Greater Cleveland Veterans War Memorial in Downtown Cleveland Friday.

The solemn ceremony was a tribute to the defenders of our country who paid a high price for our freedom.

Sandra Andres’ son Joseph was killed in Iraq on December 24, 2005. "Any way that they can honor my son and the other men, I am all for it because they did it -- they gave the ultimate sacrifice," Andres said.

The memorial contains the names of 5,552 brave men and women of Cuyahoga County who lost their lives in times of war, dating back 115 years. “Every time I come Downtown I show my respect to my nephew Kenneth Slepicka. He was in the Army in 1942," Lester Basch of Cleveland said.

The names of 33 fallen heroes from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars were added to the memorial this year. Among them are Barbara Boskovitch's grandson, Jeffrey Boskovitch and her nephew Brad Davis.

“I think it's wonderful. And, they are heroes, all of them are heroes. I am very proud of them, I will always be proud of them," she said.

In all 42 names were added to the memorial this year. That included nine fallen heroes from earlier wars, whose names were not known at the 2004 rededication.

The memorial remains a lasting remembrance for those that gave their all for duty, honor and country. “They gave up their lives so we can live.

These men and women sacrificed so that we may have freedom,” Rabbi Ari Wolf said concluding the rededication ceremony.