Usually it takes America decades to get a memorial up for those who have fallen in battle, but George Bush’s War on Terrorism has produced many already.
From Camp Pendleton, in California where the 1st Marine Regiment built their Memorial on top of a peak in the San Onofre Mountains with the money collected by a Brooklyn, N.Y. high school, to a "Warriors Walk," at Fort Stewart, Georgia, honoring the 94 Soldiers killed in Iraq from "the Third ID," America is being criss-crossed with monuments to the dead from Iraq and Afghanistan.
There is the 4th Infantry Division’s Monument in Fort Hood, Texas, dedicated on Sept. 9, 2004. It is called the Task Force Iron Horse Memorial, and displays the names of the unit’s 81 Soldiers, killed in Iraq.
In Fort Riley, Kansas, there is the "Global War on Terrorism Memorial," dedicated October 2, 2004. It is in honor of the Fort’s 54 Soldiers killed in Iraq.
At Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the 101st Airborne put up an "Iraqi Freedom Monument," dedicated May 31, 2004, and it honors the 58 "Screaming Eagles" lost in Iraq to date.
The 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), also at Fort Stewart, Georgia, dedicated its memorial on September 25, 2003 and is in the City of Hinesville, Georgia.
On December 2, 2003, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California dedicated a plaque to the 15 Marine aviators killed in Iraq.
The 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Memorial, at Fort Carson, Colorado was dedicated on May 27, 2004, and lists the names of the 56 troopers who have been killed so far. The 3rd ACR is back in Iraq now.
Also near Fort Carson, is, "The Mountain Post Global War on Terrorism Fallen Soldiers Memorial," dedicated on June 10th, 2004 and is in Carson Park. It honors 88 Soldiers, (including the 3rd ACR) who were killed in Iraq.
Over seas, there are still more American monuments to our dead. At Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan there is a monument to all military personnel killed or wounded in Afghanistan. As of June 28, 2005, there have been 206 Americans killed there.
Nancy Montgomery reports in Stars and Stripes, "Eight tons of German granite carved with scenes of grief and glory now rest on the grass outside V Corps to honor troops killed in the first 18 months of the Iraq war." (945 killed)
All across America there are plaques and memorials going up to remember those American men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are formal and built of stone or bronze and others are simple reminders like the one in my home town. In the local café, there is a framed photo of Sergeant Dale Panchot. Dale was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq and until our community finds the right place for a lasting tribute, Dale will be remembered with a photo.
There are a lot of families in America waiting for the tribute their loved one deserves and soon there will be more memorials with more names in every state. Most monuments are open ended, so that more names can be added as need be. If this war goes on much longer, many monuments and plaques will have to be rededicated, with new names added.
Jim Glaser [send him mail], a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran and Commander of American Legion Post 499, works to educate the American public on the consequences of war. His personal website is James-Glaser.com.