Soon after the unveiling of this first display, Bellevue University asked the Williamses if they would be interested in a countrywide tour.
After realizing the impact, they agreed the project should be completed in other states to note the cost of freedom while hopefully lessening the grief of the families missing their military man or woman.
Each state has its own fallen on exhibit and will be available throughout the heroes’ hometowns, as well as other communities, businesses, schools or organizations. The artistic homage already covers Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin this year.
“We can never forget those who sacrificed everything for our freedom. We must remember these American heroes and speak their names when we see their family members,” said Col. James Biernesser (Ret.) USAF and director of Military Programs for Bellevue University. “This exhibit is created in such a way so it can travel easily throughout Georgia, so that more people will have the opportunity to honor and remember Georgia’s fallen.”
There isn’t one place to find all this information. Evonne does days of research with the various military service outfits tracking down The Fallen.
“We find the families and write them a letter asking for the photos,” Bill said.
Every hero has an official military and a personal photo in the various displays.
That “humanizes” the exhibit.
The Georgia display stretches nearly 80 feet. Bill said Texas has the largest at 200 feet.
He hopes to have an exhibit for every state completed by 2016.
The photo display features Milledgeville’s own Staff Sgt. Alex French, IV.
French lost his life in Afghanistan while deployed with the 48th Brigade as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
He first served the country in the U.S. Navy, a decision he made based in part on his admiration for the animated character Popeye.