Published on Mon., Dec. 23, 2013
By THEO KARANTSALIS
The Miami Herald
The Miami Springs Historical Society is looking for a few good men and women who care about preserving a memorial monument on Curtiss Parkway.
Volunteers have decided to spruce up the decades-old brick monument, which is named after Marine Maj. Gen. Roy S. Geiger. The upgrade plans, estimated at several thousand dollars, include building a new monument base and adding foliage and lighting.
During the early 1940s, Marines dropped bombs and practiced maneuvers on what is now the Miami Springs golf course, according to the city’s website.
Geiger was the only Marine to command a field army at Okinawa and was promoted to four-star rank posthumously, according to the city’s website. He went on to become one of the most distinguished aviators in Marine aviation history before he died in 1947.
“Dying for freedom isn’t the worst thing that can happen,” said Georgie Carter-Krell, of Virginia Gardens, as she addressed locals during a recent Veterans Day ceremony. “Being forgotten is.”
Carter’s son, Pfc. Bruce W. Carter, 19, was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after he jumped on a hand grenade in Vietnam to save fellow Marines.
“We have donated $500 to the U.S. Marine Memorial on Curtiss Parkway,” said Virginia Gardens Mayor Spencer Deno. The memorial sits at Curtiss Parkway and Deer Run Drive, along the city’s bike trail and golf course, just blocks from the Virginia Gardens border.
Miami Springs and Virginia Gardens frequently join forces to honor local veterans with special events.
“Honoring our heroes is important, and ensuring we don’t inadvertently dishonor them by letting our monuments to them fall into disrepair is just as important,” said Miami Springs City Manager Ron Gorland, an Army major who earned a Bronze Star for Valor during combat in Vietnam.
Gorland is credited with rekindling multi-city ceremonies on Memorial and Veterans days at the city’s main war memorial, a few blocks north of the Geiger memorial.
Donations can be mailed to: Miami Springs Historical Society’s Geiger Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 60175, Miami Springs, FL 33266.
HISTORY: This war memorial, erected in 1947, was named after Major General Roy S. Geiger. (THEO KARANTSALIS/FOR THE MIAMI HERALD)