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Fallen soldier memorial returned to Omar community

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OMAR — The memorial to fallen soldiers that was stolen on New Year’s Eve in the hamlet of Omar has been returned to the community.

After two weeks of searching, resident Timothy J. Hall, who made the memorial, said it just “showed up on our doorstep” Tuesday evening.

“I was pretty surprised to see it,” said Mr. Hall’s girlfriend, Lisa Schryver Ericzon, who thought the memorial was lost forever.

She said Mr. Hall had just purchased a new fake gun on Monday and got a helmet recently to replace the missing memorial.

Mr. Hall installed the original memorial — made of a Kevlar military helmet, an M-16 BB gun, boots and a black dog tag — in the center of the hamlet in 2008.

Over the past four years, many passers-by have been paying tribute to those who sacrificed their lives, and hundreds of people in the community responded to the news of the monument’s disappearance in person and through social media, Ms. Ericzon said.

“It was wonderful, the outpouring of people who responded,” she said.

The lost items also had great sentimental value to the couple, since the last picture taken of their daughter Jessica F. Ericzon — who died unexpectedly in 2008 at age 17 — was of her holding the fake gun and wearing the helmet used for the memorial.

Authorities have been notified of the memorial’s return.

The couple has decided not to pursue the matter any further and said they wanted to tell the culprit, “Hey, we forgive you.”

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