Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks unveiled a new memorial at Ontario Beach Park. The USS Liberty Memorial, which was a labor of love from members of the VFW Thomas F. Healy Post 16, honors, celebrates and pays tribute to the 34 men who lost their lives aboard the USS Liberty in 1967 during the Six-Day War.
“Today, Monroe County is proud to unveil the USS Liberty Memorial at Ontario Beach Park,” said Brooks. “Without question, this Memorial is a fitting tribute to the courageous 34 men who tragically lost their lives aboard the USS Liberty during the Six-Day War. I am truly grateful that visitors to the beach and our community will be able to honor and celebrate those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our great Country.”
Brooks was also joined by John Hrankowski, a local veteran who was aboard the Liberty during the attack and Michael Skowronski, whose vision led to the construction of the Memorial.
On June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty was struck by jet fighter aircraft and motor torpedo boats in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula. Of the 294 men on the ship, 170 were wounded and 34 perished as a result of the attack.
The USS Liberty, to date, is the most decorated ship in U.S. history. A Congressional Medal of Honor, two Navy Crosses, 38 Bronze and Silver Stars, 208 Purple Hearts, and a Presidential Unit Citation comprise the Liberty’s honors.
Listing the names of the 34 fallen, the Memorial also contains a quote from the Commander of the sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea in 1967, William I. Martin, that reads, “I commend to every man who sails in the sixth fleet the fact that the USS Liberty has become a legend in her own times.”
The Memorial is located on the beach between Lake Ontario and the Genesee River, which is north of the Dentzel Menagerie Carousel in Charlotte.