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Honoring fallen Hoosier men and women

 BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) – More than 150 Hoosier men and women have lost their lives in the line of duty since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Their faces of are now depicted on a traveling memorial for all to see.

Bill Pilkin’s stepson Arronn Fields is one of those Hoosiers, and today is a bittersweet one as they see his picture on the memorial for the very first time.

“It’s very hard,” Pilkin said. “My wife broke down in tears when she seen it. I mean, it’s a great tribute but it’s also a reminder of what we lost.”

Lost, but not forgotten.

As the wall is full of pictures and heartfelt notes from loved ones.

It’s a tribute Randy Kaelber with the American Legion in Brazil wanted to bring to the Wabash Valley for everyone to see.

“We need to honor our fallen,” Kaelber said. “And to me this is one way to of doing it. And you know, I would love to see every community get a chance to see this. Because it’s, to me it’s awesome.”

The opening of the memorial was also marked by a ceremony.

Saluting those who never made it home, welcoming in the community to pay their respects.

“A chance for them to see what freedom is all about,” Kaelber said. “You know, the price that some paid to have the freedom we’ve got. And this is the way to do it.”

And the chance for those in the Wabash Valley to say thank you to their neighbors like Arronn Fields for paying the ultimate sacrifice.

“This puts it in perspective,” Pilkin said. “You see everyone’s face. It puts a face to a name so that you know how many young men in Indiana actually gave their life.”

The exhibit is located at the VFW Post 1127 at 303 S. Depot Street in Brazil.

The public is welcome to come see the memorial free of charge.

  • It’s opening on the following dates and times:
  • July 1 from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • July 2 from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • July 3 from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • July 4 from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • July 5 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.