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Monument To Prisoners Of War Unveiled At Miramar

A monument honoring prisoners of war was unveiled yesterday at the Miramar National Cemetery.

The statue depicts a young POW at the moment of liberation.

Sculptor Richard Becker said he spoke to veterans to get a sense of what freedom felt like after being in captivity and tried to convey their emotions in his work.

"I didn't want to go too far on to the side of the horror of war and the horror of the oppression," Becker said. "And likewise, I didn't want it to be too over-the-top bright. So I tried to strike that balance."

Ralph Kling was captured by the Germans during World War II and held for eight months in a POW camp. He said this monument is strikingly different from most other POW sculptures around the country.

"Our statue is the only one that shows an excitement of freedom," he said. "He's free at last."

Kling's group, the American Ex-Prisoners of War, will dedicate the monument on Friday, Sept. 16th at the National Cemetery in Miramar.