Thank you so much for the beautiful photo memorial of my son and all of the other sons and daughters. When it was in my home town of Falls City, I spent a lot of time there. It felt so good to be there among all of them. It gave me a kind of peace I can't understand or explain. I hated for it to leave.
Anita Nolte, Mother of Nick Nolte, Marine
On behalf of myself & The Patriot Guard Riders, I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for giving us the honor of escorting this memorial. From the LEO escorts, to the citizens along the way cheering us on, giving thumbs up and holding flags, to the motorists that pulled over for us to have uninterupted passageway, it was all so encouraging to say the least. But the emotional part was setting up the memorial and seeing the pictures of the Heroes' faces close up, & what they represent. The real tear jerker came when Christopher Stark's mother walked up and introduced herself, & thanked me with a hug for participating in Christopher's service. This is one mission, I will not forget.
Tom (Tommygun) Daggett, SW Missouri Ride Captain, Patriot Guard Riders
Thank you for inviting Fairfield to be one of the places honored with displaying "Remembering Our Fallen." We were fortunate to have the memorial so close to Veterans Day which added to the appreciation we all felt. We had two very nice events to open and close the memorial, which included addresses from several combat veterans and Congressman Dave Loebsack. Everyone was very impressed with the idea of the traveling memorial and the display itself. In my remarks, I said "There is a 'disconnect' between those we ask to serve our military objectives and our society at large." This memorial made that connection very dramatically and helped us understand the magnitude of their sacrifices.
Ed Malloy, Mayor of Fairfield, Iowa
We did not get to personally thank you yesterday. It was a wonderful ceremony and we, here in Missouri, are very proud of our soldiers. This memorial has helped to make the rest of the state know them, too. Thank you, again, for keeping our loved ones as a face and not just a name.
Matthew Murchison's Mother (Excerpt from an email the day following the unveiling of "Remembering Our Fallen" from Missouri.)
What a weekend!! It started with having the honor and privilege to escort the Remembering Our Fallen memorial from Crete, Nebraska to Tilden, Nebraska for the Prairie Days celebration. I rode to Crete to meet up with a couple of my brother American Legion Riders from Lincoln, and was surprised when I arrived to see riders present also from the Beatrice Post. By the time we arrived in Tilden, we had 53 American Legion Riders, from Tilden, Beatrice, Columbus, Norfolk, Bloomfield, Neligh, and Norfolk, who had all joined us along the way. As we passed Meadow Grove, we saw a man standing along the road waving an American Flag and a young boy at full salute. As we rounded the corner of main street in Tilden, we were taken aback by the fact that over 200 people had lined the main street for the entire 3 blocks to the site where Remembering Our Fallen was to be displayed. Everyone, and I mean everyone present, was holding some size of an American Flag. This is hard to actually put into words as you can not fully describe the feeling and pride you have for these people as they showed up to show respect and honor for our 97 brave Nebraska soldiers, who gave the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE. At 7pm, crosses arrived for each of the Fallen, and they were placed in the grass field to the south of where the memorial was. The folllowing morning at 9am, the Tilden American Legion and Tilden VFW conducted an opening ceremony. This included an opening prayer by the chaplain, words from the VFW Commander, the Pledge of Allegiance, a 21-gun salute, the playing of Taps, and the reading of the names of all 97 Fallen. Over the next 3 days, almost 700 people came to see the memorial. Many Gold Star Grandparents were able to see it for the first time and were able to see their Fallen Grandchild's picture placed on this memorial. During this weekend, I was contacted either by email or phone call from 9 Gold Star families, to thank the riders and me for this show of respect. Although I appreciate their contact, and I did pass their thank yous on to everyone involved, I explained to them that the thanks goes to them. They are the ones that have obviously given THE MOST! We are simply here, only to pay the respect to their fallen heroes that they deserve and to continue to as long as we are able. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
"GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN TO LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR ANOTHER"
Semper Fi, Jeff Treu
Thank you so very much for the most memorable event to honor our Iraq & Afghanistan veterans and our Fallen Heroes. My dad, a WW II veteran and my husband, an Air Force retiree, were deeply touched. It was a beautiful day and we thank you for your hard work and love that you put into the event. My grandchildren were "wowed" by the memorial. It still moves me ever so deeply to see my son in uniform and ultimately giving his life for our freedom. Thank you and God Bless you.
“Thank you for bringing this wonderful exhibit to Iowa City. It has made an impact on Scheels customers and associates alike. We have received nothing but positive reactions to this memorial. It truly helps us remember our Fallen Heroes.”
Sincerely, Your Friends at Scheels
Please find enclosed a donation from the Galesburg Volunteer Fire Department. A raffle was held during our Galesburg Days Celebration and the fire fighters decided to send a portion of the proceeds to your foundation as a donation to the Remembering Our Fallen of Kansas memorial. It was so very well received and attended in our community. We were proud to be able to host it in our small town. The welcome rally and ceremony went very well.
The memorial is such a moving tribute to our fallen; what a wonderful thing you are doing throughout the country. I also would like to commend Deb Austin for her work, time and energy involved. She is quite a remarkable person.
Thank you for your help in the planning stages. I would certainly encourage other small communities to host the memorial. Our population is under 200 so if we can pull it off just about any town can. Wishing you continued success in honoring our fallen.
Tammy L. Miller, Galesburg Day Planning Committee
Just a quick note of thanks for sharing the Kansas Remembering Our Fallen memorial with Olathe East High School. It was very moving for our students, faculty, and staff. We were able to host it during our Parent-Teacher Conference times as well, and this increased its visibility to our school community. Thank you for the reminder of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Bill Weber, Ed.D., Principal of Olathe East High School
Texas A&M has received countless comments about the Remembering Our Fallen memorial. When I think about all of the events and programs that we’ve conducted over the past 14 months, this event was the most meaningful and reached more people than any of the others.
I stopped by the memorial about 90 minutes before kick-off on Nov 2nd (our military appreciation game); people were lined up three deep the entire length of the hallway looking at the display. It was an impressive sight…I wish that I’d had my camera to capture the moment. Thank you so much for everything that you do…you are making a huge positive difference for so many people!
Gerald “Jerry” L. Smith ‘82
Colonel, USMC (Ret.), Director | Veteran Resource & Support Center, Texas A&M
I had the privilege of visiting the traveling memorial of the Missouri Fallen at the Veteran's Festival in St. Louis over Labor Day weekend. I was truly moved by the presentation, and surprised at the depth of my emotions when seeing it. As I pondered each face and name, I thought of their families and the magnitude of the losses and the sorrow. I was humbled to be in their presence, and proud to be the mom of a true Hero. The gentlemen from the VFW who had co-sponsored the event cried along with me. I'm sure they lost buddies, too. As my husband and I left, a group at the Festival began to sing the National Anthem, which was followed by the playing of Taps on a bugle. What timing.
I can't thank you enough for your efforts, and for the support of Bellevue University, to make this memorial a reality. If the purpose of a war memorial is to help us remember the sacrifices of the Heroes, and to help us heal from our sorrow, then your mission has been accomplished. Thank you for this tremendous gift.
1LT Daniel P. Riordan's Mother
I could not stop thinking about this memorial during the whole ride home to Springfield. It is sobering. So many heroes, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters from Missouri. American soldiers who gave the ultimate during the War against Terrorism.
I am so glad I got to be a part of leading them into Nevada. It was great to see so many people standing at the roadside waving their flags, waving, holding thumbs up, and there were the many motorists who pulled to the side of the road and stopped while we passed. America recognizes the debt that is owed these Missouri heros.
These heros are not forgotten. America is so lucky to have men and women like these soldiers from Missouri.
We were so very impressed with 'Remembering Our Fallen' from Missouri. The photo memorial was so meaningful to those who, in many cases, traveled a great distance to help honor their fallen loved one. We commend you for committing your resources to develop this impressive display and ceremony to assure that those who have given their lives to defend our country and freedom will not be forgotten.
As Commander of the American Legion Roscoe Enloe Post 5, the largest Post in the State of Missouri, I want to personally thank you for allowing us to be a part of this great tribute. We felt truly honored. Every veteran organization, town or city should welcome the opportunity to have "Remembering Our Fallen" in their community. This display certainly shows the people in the 'Show Me State' that everyone who served and gave their lives for this great nation of ours will not be forgotten. Thank you for what you are doing.
Wayne R. Coleman, Commander
“Thank you so very much for the moving photo memorial of Iowa's Fallen Heroes. Our Nathan was quite a character and really the crazy heart of our family. How I wish you could have met him.
I came away from the day in Adel with an extra burst of creative energy that I have been trying to recapture since his death. Today I made the calls necessary to adopt a stretch of highway near our home for our family to keep clean in his honor. I have wanted to do that for well over a year and just couldn't get the job done. I want you to know that so you realize how something like your creation can help us heal. Everyone who grieves does it differently, of course, on their own time table. I have gone to many tributes for The Fallen and every one of them has been important to me. I may be like a glass that has been receiving drops of healing water and your loving display finally caused an overflow so that I can move on in ways that have simply been blocked. I have felt heartsick and "stuck" since 4 pm on September 20, 2008.
Thank you for the beautiful and moving memorial, "Remembering Our Fallen." Our young men and women give up everything to put their lives on the line and serve our country. Some come home and some don't. I never thought I would be the one getting that visit, but God has other plans for us. We are so proud of our brave, courageous men and women. God bless them all and keep them safe.
There is a constant ache in our hearts, a hole, something missing. It never goes away, but we remember and celebrate the good times and memories that keep Drew near to us. Life will never be the same, but we will continue the mission of our loved ones...making the world a better place.
Thank you for helping us to heal and remember. God bless you all.
I wanted to share with you a few of the exchanges with folks I had in Texarkana. While we were at our event in Texarkana, one of the Gold Star Moms, brought her grandson to enjoy the event. She was proudly wearing her remembrance shirt with her son, Kyle's beautiful face on it. I went over and introduced myself and we had a beautiful conversation and I was able to introduce her to a couple of our troops that were traveling with our event, which seemed to give her a new connection to her son's service. She came back several times during the day to chat and each time was such a gift. Meeting the families of our Fallen has been so touching. All they want to hear is that their loved one will not be forgotten. When we prepared to move the memorial this week, one of Kyle's classmates happened to be in the mall. We chatted for about 30 minutes and he was so thankful that the memorial was there for others to honor not just his friend, but all those who gave the ultimate.
Thank you for allowing Defenders of Freedom to honor the Fallen and their Families in this very touching way!
Jodi Sorenson, Defenders of Freedom
Thank you for including Lincoln High in your tour!
I was pleased by the reaction of our students, staff, parents, and community members for having the memorial at Lincoln High! Sometimes we never know the impact something will have on different people, so it was a valuable teaching tool for the Lincoln High community. Because Lincoln High was represented on the memorial, it was especially meaningful.
Thank you for your passion and your work!
Thank you for allowing "Remembering Our Fallen" from Missouri to be at our school. It is quite powerful! It accomplished exactly what I wanted it to do for our students. I wanted the young people to get the realization that veterans are not just their grandparents or great-uncles, but people are still dying today for our freedom. Watching the students read the boards brought tears to my eyes. They were respectful and I heard one young lady say, "He was only 21 and he died!" Some of the students viewed the memorial more than once. The memorial promotes respect, awareness, prayer and inspiration. The teachers brought their classes to the memorial to read, write, and pray. Thanks for the opportunity to honor our veterans. I highly recommend this memorial to anyone. I was sad to see it go.
Keep going; let the world remember, so we never forget!
God bless you,
Director of Institutional Advancement, Living Word Christian School, O’Fallon, Missouri
It has been absolutely awesome to have the memorial here --- so many comments from staff, community and students. You were right --- watching students view it kind of takes one’s breath away. It is a sober reminder of the cost of freedom.
Assistant Principal, Waukee High School, Waukee, Iowa