Toms River officials and armed forces veterans broke ground at Bey Lea Park for a new memorial, named "Protectors of Freedom: 100 Years in the World Stage."

The monument will be a tribute to symbolize the valor and sacrifice each man and woman made throughout the international wars and conflicts from 1917 to the present, portrayed in six 8-foot-tall bronze sculptures.

Toms River native Brian Hanlon is the project's sculptor, and the monument is being funded by the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation.

Hanlon has already sculpted the Angel in Anguish monument to Brick Township's September 11th victims at Windward Beach Park and the sculpture at the corner of Route 37 and Route 166 in Toms River.

Officials expect the monument will be unveiled in June 2017.

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