“I was serving in WWII when I met my Belgian beauty,” said 88-year-old Francis J. Aleksandrowicz from Bay Village, Ohio. “I loved her from the moment I saw her standing on that bridge.”

Francis and Louise shared an epic romance. During a time of war, they found peace in the love they shared. Louise has been gone for seven years now, but not even death could tear them apart.

“I wanted to show my wife that I still had it in me to do something great,” Aleksandrowicz said as he held back the tears.

Every Sunday, Aleksandrowicz visits Louise’s grave at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman.

“I went to Arlington National Cemetery with my class when I was 14 years old,” said Aleksandrowicz. “It touched me to see the memorials standing there so strong and timeless.”

Francis decided to erect a memorial honoring his fellow veterans.

As an upstanding veteran and lifetime member of VFW Post 9693 in Bay Village, Francis was granted permission to design and erect the statue, which would cost approximately $58,000.

“I sent out a postcard to the people I know explaining what I was doing,” said Aleksandrowicz. “Many of them were kind enough to make donations.”

When the money came through, it was $28,000 short. Without hesitation, Aleksandrowicz dipped into his life savings.

“I didn’t care about the money,” said Aleksandrowicz. “I just wanted to give a timeless gift.”

The Memorial now stands in salute to all our nation’s heroes at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.

“When people pass the statue, I hope they think of our military heroes throughout history,” said Aleksandrowicz. “I hope Louise, my angel, is proud of what I've done.”



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