Our military men are key to the security of the nation. The sacrifices made by them and their families were respected through the display of boots owned by late servicemembers of the country.
It was one of the biggest tragedies in the nation, the day hundreds of unsuspecting citizens fell victims to what has been described as the most vicious attacks in recent times. Ever since September 11, 2001, the United States government has done everything in its power to stop terror attacks before the perpetrators have a chance to destroy any more lives. And this has only been possible thanks to the thousands of brave soldiers and service members who fought to ensure their nation is safe, even if it meant giving up their lives for the sake of those back home. And now, even years after their sacrifices, these brave soldiers are still remembered.
According to Task&Purpose, more than 7,500 boots are displayed at Fort Bragg as a temporary memorial to the service members from all the branches who lost their lives since 9/11. The boots displayed bore the photos and dates of death of the service members.
It is a symbol of respect to the service members and their families. "It shows the families the service members are still remembered, honored and not forgotten," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services to Task&Purpose. She also added that the display served as a reflection of the sacrifices made by all the people who work in the army branches.
"The true meaning of Memorial Day is not picnics and barbecues, though those are great things, the meaning is paying tribute," she said quoted Task&Purpose. The boots were displayed as a part of the Fort Bragg's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's annual Run, Honor and Remember 5k on May 18 and also for the 82nd Airborne Division's run.
A similar display was organized at Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Earlier in 2014, the same display was organized by Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services and Fisher House in Hedrick Stadium.
Many people stopped by to view the display and showed their reverence to the late service members from different American forces. Jonathan Lomax, an ex-marine who served for 21 years was also among the many who visited the display. He said he hoped not to recognize any of those names on the boots. "Any loss of life is severe, so all of these are my brothers and sisters," Lomax said. "That's the way I look at it," said the ex-marine. Lomax looked and boots and reflected on what the boots meant to him.
"It means we've lost good soldiers, a lot of good service members fighting for this country," And this is just recent. It's not even the ones we've lost before (9/11) — a lot of young people," said Lomax.
Beth Grimshaw who have been religiously volunteering for four years to set up the display said, "I've got some friends' husbands who are out here," said Grimshaw, who paused to reflect on May 17. "I'd like to see this out so they're not forgotten." One of the boots displayed was of a lieutenant colonel, Dr. Mark Taylor. Grimshaw had worked with the Taylor who was a surgeon assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division Forward Surgical Team. He was later killed during a rocket attack on March 20, 2004, in Iraq.
This Memorial Day display is a great tribute to those brave men and women who selflessly choose to serve the nation.