Sunday, December 12, 2010

Military Memorials

Special Forces Memorial Walk
A Very Special Memorial Built by Eagle Scout
Military Memorials have become a commonplace remembrance for fallen military. While all memorials pay tribute and are worthy of recognition, a few weeks ago one memorial captured my attention for a completely different reason other than what we have come know.

Each memorial is unique in its own way to include the names of those represented by those memorials.  One memorial that was dedicated recently is not only unique for those it represents, but also unique because of how it came to be built and who built it.  

The short version of this story began four years ago in 2006 when the 13-year old Jacob Netzel was considering an Eagle Scout project, and after some guidance from his father and some personal reasons decided building a memorial was where he would put his efforts.   Eagle Scout Jacob Netzel began his project, which turned into more of a quest, to build a memorial for the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg.  Netzel braved the red tape, a moratorium on memorials and other obstacles, but after four years completed the fund raising and construction of the 3rd Special Forces Group Memorial Walk. 

The Memorial Walk is unique and yet simple in design, with individual headstones for each of the 28 members of the 3rd Special Forces Group killed in action since September 11 2001.  While the dedication of the Memorial represents remembering and honoring those fallen, the effort and dedication of a young man who was inspired at 13 years old to build the memorial is more than inspirational and commendable, it’s phenomenal, but then again for members of the close knit military community that Eagle Scout Netzel belongs to, anything less than phenomenal is not an option and the gift to the families of the fallen 3rd Special Forces Group soldiers, while phenomenal, shows the true heart, soul and comradery of  the Military and Special Forces communities.  

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