Phil Berkowitz WWII Memorial Info

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Phil Berkowitz WWII Memorial Info

Post by smokem » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:47 am

LADY LAKE — Retired electrical contractor and Navy veteran Phil Berkowitz has commissioned renowned sculptor Greg Marra to bring his vision of a memorial to Allied soldiers in World War II to life by Memorial Day.

“I had a dream recently and awoke with a vision of the hands of soldiers from all the Allied powers in World War II uplifting and rejoining a fractured Star of David,” Berkowitz said.

Berkowitz met recently with Marra, of Sarasota, at American Legion Post 347 in Lady Lake, where the veteran is a member, to discuss details on the project.

Berkowitz would not divulge the cost, but said it is “in the six figures.” He is personally financing the bronze memorial, which is expected to be unveiled in The Villages around May 27.

“I have no kids; this is my legacy,” he said.

Berkowitz, 70, moved to The Villages around 2001 with his wife, Maria. He served on the submarine U.S.S. Sennet and the nuclear sub U.S.S. Sam Rayburn, which carried ballistic missiles during the Cold War era. He said some people feel the Holocaust never happened, but he knew a concentration camp survivor from Warsaw, Poland.

“I want to awaken a generation of American Jews to the history and importance of the sacrifices of American, Russian and soldiers from the United Kingdom in World War II. They liberated the concentration camps of the Holocaust, which many don't even believe existed. We wouldn't be here if not for them,” he said.

“This memorial would be a ‘thank you.' I feel Jews owe a debt to these soldiers. How do you repay someone for their life?” Berkowitz said. “May 8, VE day, or Victory in Europe Day, should be an important date to Jews just like the date of the creation of the State of Israel.”

Mash on link below: ... /130339986

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