MANATEE -- The Allies who liberated Nazi death camps 70 years ago at the end of World War II are being remembered with the Todah Menorah Memorial.
Most recently, the Todah was on display during the visit of a B-17 Flying Fortress at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association.
The Todah was previously displayed at Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery, an interfaith service in Lake Mary, The Villages, the Chabad of Sarasota, and elsewhere.
The Todah, Hebrew for "thank you," depicts a fractured Star of David lifted by three battle-scarred hands, and nine battle crosses with the helmets and boots representing the Allies who liber
ated concentration camps.
Without the sacrifice and service of Allied liberators, many more might have perished in the World War II concentration camps, said Lakewood Ranch resident Gene Sweeney.
The memorial, which commemorates the persecution of millions of Jews, as well as others considered undesirable by Adolf Hitler, was commissioned and paid for by Phil Berkowitz of The Villages.
"It is a tribute to the liberators," said Sweeney, Berkowitz's partner.
They are making plans to tour the memorial around the United States and have established the nonprofit The Liberator Foundation to raise additional funds to create memorials for London, Canada, Israel and Russia.
For information about Todah Menorah Memorial, visit liberatorfoundation.org