The Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial is being built in Nevada, near the site of a plane crash that killed 14 men on November 17, 1955. The memorial is due to open in late May, 2015.
My uncle, Terry O’Donnell, was one of the men who died. He was only 22 years old and had joined the CIA after his graduation from college that spring.
Most of the wreckage is still near the top of Mount Charleston. In 2001, one of the plane’s propellers was recovered from the site and put on display in a temporary exhibit. On Monday, workers mounted the propeller onto a boulder at the site of the outdoor memorial.
When the memorial was still in the planning stages, my grandmother traveled to Las Vegas at the invitation of Steve Ririe, who is chairman of the memorial’s board. She saw the propeller from the plane in which her son perished. When my grandmother died in 2011, Steve posted a photo of her on the memorial’s Facebook page.