Ed Frazier, a Bellevue native and active duty Air Force, is looking to honor Nebraska soldiers who died in the War on Terror with a memorial at American Heroes Park.
Last year, the War on Terror Memorial was approved by Bellevue City Council and Frazier has been fundraising for the project since.
Frazier estimates cost for the memorial at $75,000. He said the $75,000 will cover the cost for the initial construction and he will continue to raise funds to maintain the memorial.
After one year of fundraising, $38,000 has been raised.
Frazier said War on Terror is defined using the Department of Defense’s Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal criteria, which consists of a deployed military member participating in operation Enduring Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve and Odyssey Lightning.
The memorial at the city park adjacent to the Bellevue Bridge will consist of granite slabs with polished metal plating. The names, ranks, services and the date of death of each soldier will be engraved onto the memorial.
Frazier said he has around 65 to 70 soldiers from across Nebraska confirmed for the memorial and is researching to find more soldiers.
He said the memorial will be able to expand to include more names and there is no cap to how many soldiers’ names will be displayed.
There was a lull in fundraising due to the floods that hit Bellevue and Offutt Air Force Base earlier this year.
Frazier organized a walk, run and ruck event last year to raise funds and said it was maxed out on the amount of people registered for the event.
After the success of last year’s event, Frazier said he was set on planning a similar event for this year in May but the plans fell through due to several long term construction projects along the route of the event.
The dust has since settled and Frazier said he is ready to get back on track for fundraising.
He said the memorial run has been rescheduled for May 16, 2020 and is planning to expand the registration for the event to allow for more people to be involved.
Frazier said he established a volunteer group called American Heroes Volunteers that helps organizes community service events to take care of the park.
He said he has worked with other groups like the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce to be at RiverFest to promote the memorial. Frazier said the Bellevue Offutt Rising Professionals has donated the registration fees from its bags toss tournament to the memorial fund.
Those interested in donating to the War on Terror Memorial can visit their website americanheroespark.org/war-on-terror-memorial, or checks can be mailed to the Midlands Community Foundation, 217 Jefferson St. N., Papillion, NE 68046