Wow. I did not expect to be so profoundly moved when I visited this wall.
It's been on my bucket list since I found out it existed,
But to be standing in front of the names of men and women who sacrificed all....
Well, I could not hold back my tears. I didn't want to.
Not when I reverently took etchings of names of heroes like Marc Lee (panel 5A, row 36)
and Adam Brown (panel 5C, Row 35).
Wow. I did not expect to feel so -- humble.
Marseilles is a statement all by itself.
A quaint country town alongside the Illinois River, it declares the spirit of true American.
The American flag waves proudly, as well as a few biker club flags.
Well, good on 'em.
This wall's existence is due to patriots like the Illinois Motorcycle Freedom Club.
Did you know the city of Chicago was approached to host this heroic tribute?
They turned it down. Weren't interested. But I digress.
The point is that America is alive and well and it's in little out of the way towns like
Marseilles where the flag still means something.
Where Gold Star Families are still honored.
There are 13 panels filled with name after name, 2 more panels mostly blank.
It honors all military members who have died in combat since 1979,
like the Marines lost in Kobar Towers,
the men lost aboard the USS Cole, and others....
Friends and family leave mementos...
I left my eternal appreciation that good men and women still exist,
that heroes are not the things of myth and fantasy,
that God has blessed America.
Check it out: www.ilfreedomrun.org
You'll be glad you did.