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Little Island of Memories

Nearly a half-century later, Vero Beach’s Memorial Sanctuary recalls the sacrifices made during America’s wars.

The 40-minute dedication ceremony took place on May 3, 1964. The flag was raised over the island for the first time on that same day.

The 40-minute dedication ceremony took place on May 3, 1964. The flag was raised over the island for the first time on that same day.

On Sept. 29, 2007, a small group of former prisoners of war gathered on a tiny island in the Indian River just south of the Merrill Barber Bridge. They joined an assembly of citizens in dedicating the latest in a series of monuments erected to honor Indian River County residents who had served in the U.S. military over the years.

This impressive black granite structure is more than five feet tall and weighs 700 pounds. The five sides display the insignia of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The top, angled like a lance toward the sky, bears a poignant silhouette representing those held as prisoners of war or designated missing in action, with the words, “You Are Not Forgotten.” The POW-MIA monument was the result of more than three years of planning and $7,000 in donations – a small price to pay to memorialize these brave Americans, some of whom never came home.

The 2007 event was just part of the long history of the site commonly known as Memorial Island.

Read the entire article in the May 2010 issue