In a world that’s as fast paced as the one we live in, it’s easy to forget about what matters most. But in a city as benevolent as Nashville, we are constantly reminded of the positivity taking place around us every day.
We recently attended the unveiling of “Remembering Our Fallen,” a memorial exhibit honoring soldiers from the state of Tennessee who have died in a war zone since September 11, 2001. Held at the Nashville Palace, families of these fallen soldiers had the chance to recognize their loved ones and their fellow fighters.
In collaboration with Nashville Connection, Bill and Evonne Williams of Patriotic Productions put together the exhibit, contacting the families of these soldiers and gathering their photos to be put on display – allowing the memory of these courageous fighters to be revived once again.
Eddie Stubbs of WSM Radio served as the event’s master of ceremonies, calling a memorial such as this “the right thing to do – to salute these families and to show them that the life of their loved one did matter.”
The memorial is significant not only to these brave families, but also to members of the music world as well. Nashville Connection brought in country singers Irlene Mandrell and Wade Hayes to shed light on this dedication, in addition to providing entertainment for the families.
“Through music, that’s the universal language,” said Joan Betros, executive producer and creator of Nashville Connection on the power of music and healing. “That ties it together.”
But the real takeaway of the event was the impact of keeping the recollection of these fighters alive. In total, Tennessee is the home state of the 141 soldiers who have selflessly given their lives for this country since 9/11, with an average age of 20-years-old.
Taking in the exhibit and seeing the faces of all these courageous individuals, almost as if they were frozen in time, has a powerful impact on those observing it. From a personal perspective, it was emotional looking at the photographs of these heroic veterans, many of whom were young adults and thinking about the life they had and where they would be today. Loved ones left notes beside the photo of a familiar face, with sweet messages of admiration and remembrance for their sacrifice.
Our state is home to numerous strong-willed individuals who magnanimously fought for our country and “Remembering Our Fallen” goes the extra mile in reminding us all how important it is to honor their valor and unmatched selflessness.
“Our mission is that these men and women will not be forgotten,” Bill said, a message we should all keep in mind in our daily lives, as the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom should certainly never be forgotten.
If you would like to honor our fallen soldiers, “Remembering Our Fallen” will be on display at the following locations around Nashville and the state through the end of November.
Tennessee State Capitol: Through Oct. 26
Bass Pro Shop (Opry Mills): Oct. 27 – Nov. 1
University of Tennessee (Communications building): Nov. 3 – 29