Non-profit working to restore vandalized military memorials in Detroit

- A local non-profit is honoring fallen World War II heroes from Detroit, unveiling a restored memorial today. And that's just the beginning.

Monuments for war heroes throughout the city of Detroit have been reduced to a rusty crumbling state and now the city needs your help to restore them.

For a war veteran like Bill Welborne, it was tough to see the American flag not treated with respect in his own neighborhood.

"It was horrible," said Welborne, a Tuskegee airman. "People would come in and tear it up. They stole my flags out here, they just tore this thing up and I complained about it."

The abandoned Hardstein Park monument is one of many in city neighborhood parks, abandoned, rusted, and vandalized.

"We are here today to announce the Detroit heroes project," said Michael Soviak, president of the Revolution Flag Foundation.

Starting in Welbourne's neighborhood, the city's revolution flag foundation is making a change.

"The goal of this project is simple," Soviak said. "To ensure that the memory of the veterans who are from Detroit and gave their life, and make sure that our freedom goes on into the decades, that memory never dies off."

"The neighborhood can enjoy the present and reflect on the past by these heroes that will be forever here in the memorial," said Fred Mester, a retired circuit court judge and Army Veteran.

One monument is restored, but at least 20 others throughout the city desperately need fixing.

"It needs to be redone," Soviak said. "These guys are Detroit heroes; they made sure we today could live in freedom."

"It gives me pride," said Paul Palazzolo, of the Vietnam Veterans of America. "Gives me pride to see people care about the stuff. It's been sitting for years and everyone's neglected them. We've got another one at the State Fair grounds."

To some, this may be just a simple flag pole, but to Welbourne, it means so much more.

"I feel like a million dollars," Welbourne said. "This is great, this is really great it's a lot bigger, it's a lot better,  I'm just really happy."

The foundation needs donations to repair the remaining monuments. To donate visit revolutionflagfoundation.org.

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