Remembering The Fallen
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Created in 2002, Eastern Kentucky University's Veterans Memorial honors all EKU military servicemembers who have died in service to the nation. The memorial's centerpiece contains the names of EKU alumni, faculty, staff, and students who lost their life in either hostile action or non-hostile service. Remembering their sacrifice reminds us that "Freedom is not Free" and that we must finish the work of the fallen - preserving America's ideals for generations to come.
To view pictures of the memorial's construction click here.
The Memorial was funded through private donations of EKU alumni, faculty, staff, and families. The artwork above was created by local watercolor artist Pat Allen and used in promotional fundraising literature. Brick pavers with the individual's record of service, affiliation, or commemorative words were sold to raise the $55,000 needed to build and maintain the Memorial, creating a permanent record of all who made the memorial possible. The brick pavers were placed at the base of each flag pole according to service affliation. The bronze wreaths that flank the granite wall of names were designed by EKU Professor Carol Hale and were poured at EKU's bronze casting facility. Granite benches were purchased by individual donors to honor individuals, groups, and classes. The US, POW * MIA, and individual military service flags are replaced regularly through the endowment. The EKU ROTC Alumni Chapter leadership served as principal advisors to the project.
In 2017, approximately $15,000 was raised to fund the Fallen Soldier Cross sculpture, which was fashioned by Allen Ferg and intended to bring attention to a section of the Veterans Memorial dedicated to remembering those who lost their lives because of their service, but not while serving. The sculpture is a bronze casting of the traditional upside-down rifle, boots, and helmet. The sculptor felt that adding a stainless steel sphere surrounding the statue would symbolize that PTSD is not unique to America, and represents the global nature of the problems facing all warriors after they leave service. Ferg was a platoon mate of fellow Vietnam veteran and former EKU history professor Dr. Robert Topmiller, who passed in 2008. As a final tribute, families and friends of those recognized at the site attached individual replica dog tags, with the names and years of birth and death inscribed, to the sphere to create a wind chime effect.
Anyone who wishes to support the continued maintenance and beautification of the Veterans Memorial are welcome to make a donation.
For more information, please contact Barbara Kent, Director of Military and Veterans Affairs, at email@example.com or call 859-622-7838.