Recently, I had the privilege to view the Missouri touring display “Remembering Our Fallen.”
Recently, I had the privilege to view the Missouri touring display "Remembering Our Fallen." This display is a memorial to all of the Missourians who made the ultimate sacrifice in the War on Terror since Sept. 11, 2001. It was created to honor those brave men and women who died serving their country.
Patriotic Production is the organization which created the "Remembering Our Fallen" memorial. It was established in 2010 by an Omaha, Neb., couple, Bill and Evonne Williams. They desired to honor the United States military, and they wanted to share that opportunity with others who wished to do the same. The Williams family is unique in that they have four sons who currently serve in the military. One of the sons served two tours in the Iraq-Afghanistan war zone. His service helped their family to realize and appreciate the sacrifice made by our military personnel, their families, and their loved ones. With the backing of the Omaha World-Herald newspaper and the financial support of several sponsors, including Bellevue University, the Williams family put together the first exhibit for those fallen military men and women who called Nebraska their home.
Soon after the unveiling of the first display in Nebraska, Bellevue University asked the Williams family if they would be interested in doing this type of a memorial in other states. They agreed. Realizing the impact that the Nebraska photo display made, not only upon the families of the fallen but also the general public, the Williams family joined with other states to help them create their own exhibits. Today there are touring displays in 12 states; Missouri was the third state to set up a touring memorial.
The Missouri "Remembering Our Fallen" exhibit has photos of 130 service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Ten of these were members of the Missouri National Guard. One of the things that made this memorial so special to family members of the fallen was the personal involvement they had in selecting the pictures used in the display. It was said that the memorial helped bring about some closure for them as they worked through this sad time. While the overall mission of the memorial is to honor those who died in the Iraq-Afghanistan wars, the legacy is that the acts of courage of these brave individuals will be remembered by grateful Americans who appreciate freedom. Freedom has always had a price and, sadly, that price oftentimes is the lives of some of our best young men and women.
The following quote by Robert F. Kennedy was part of the display:
"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others; or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. That ripple builds others. Those ripples-crossing each other from a million different centers of energy-build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice."
To all the men and women who are now serving, to those who have served, and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, we honor and thank you for your service to our country — and we remember. May God bless our nation so we continue to enjoy peace and prosperity.
If I can be of help to you with these or any other state matters, please do not hesitate to contact me by one of the following means:
Mail: Bill Reiboldt, Office 235-BB, State Capitol, 201 W. Capitol, Jefferson City, 65101. Telephone: (573) 751-9781. Personal cell phone: 417-456-0441. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. My website is www.billreiboldt.com
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Bill Reiboldt represents the people of Newton andf McDonald counties in the Missouri House of Representatives.