Memorial Honors Military
For a decade, a unique memorial in downtown Atlanta drew attention to those who died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reed Galin reports.
(Locator: Atlanta, Georgia)
Captain Brooks Askew: "When you lose a 19-year-old son or daughter, it's a really sad day."
Army Captain Brooks Askew walks the grounds of his church, Peachtree Road United Methodist, looking for a name among these ribbons.
Captain Brooks Askew: "I had a job as a Casualty Notification Officer to inform a family that their son had been killed in Iraq. When you actually see the ceremony with the guys bringing the casket off the plane, it's a very surreal moment."
The 6,400 U.S. service people who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan are honored at the Prayers for Peace memorial.
David Metzner, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church: "The gold ribbon represents the soldiers that have lost their lives. Attached to each is a dog tag. The blue ribbons represent praying for peace for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. The green ribbon represents prayers for peace for everyonethat God's peace may be with us."
More than 750 Atlanta volunteers created this memorial on the church's front lawn. It's similar to one in New York City.
Dick Dietz, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church: "I've actually hung a lot of the ribbons. I would read the age and some of them were just 18. You know that their parents thought so much about how they named their child and then you think about the loss that they've had, the loss we've all had."
The project continues to remind the congregation of military sacrifices.
Susan Marshall, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church: "We read the names, the ranks and the ages of all of these servicemen and women as they die each week, and I think that the congregation has found that it makes this war, these wars, a reality for each of us."
Church members will contact the families of the deceased to let them know prayers have been said and a dog tag has been hung in tribute to each.
Frost Osborne, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church: "It's so impactful. And it makes me tear up every time I think about the sacrifice that these ribbons represent and the opportunity we've had to put together a tangible representation of prayer."
Captain Brooks Askew: "We've been at this for 10 years now, and a lot of people have grown cold to the fact that men and women are still dying. Stuff like this actually makes it more real."
After 10 years of putting up the display, the ribbon memorial at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church has been retired. The tags with names of fallen soldliers were burned and the ashes are kept in an urn. For more information, contact Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, call 404-266-2373.
Posted: September 11, 2011