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Riverside veterans search for missing World War II memorial

Posted at 6:18 PM, Dec 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 18:43:10-05

CINCINNATI -- A World War II monument has gone missing. 

The veterans of American Legion Post 534 weren't even sure the memorial had ever existed, until someone brought in a photo one day showing the memorial with the names of 262 local World War II veterans inscribed on it. 

The memorial was torn down decades ago when Hillside Avenue and River Road were widened. 

Today, no one seems to know where it is. But the vets at Post 534 aim to bring it back. They've raised $23,000 in four years to rebuild it, but they need $75,000.

"It's really a shame," Mike Bender of Post 534 said. "I think right now the way this country is going, people just don't care. They only care about what's going on in their lives. They don't remember how they got there, what allowed them to do the things that they're doing."

Bender said he has checked with the city, the transportation department, the parks board and others. 

"They don't know who took it down, or where it would have been store," he said.

City Councilmember Kevin Flynn has also been looking for the memorial. He thinks it may even be forgotten in storage somewhere.

"You just don't know," he said. "But until you start peeling back the onion, you'll never know."

The veterans from Post 534 plan to add the names of all Riverside veterans to the memorial. Bender, who has dedicated his free time over the past four years to fundraising for it, lives outside of the neighborhood and his name won't be mentioned on it.

"I feel as a veteran that I owe it to them to restore this memorial, to show them we do care," Bender said.

They are still fundraising for the memorial. There is a Gofundme page set up here.