A Visit with Fallen Heroes
by Kayla Griffin, Courtney Hall, Emily Ogden, and Morgan Smith

The number one seems like a harmless number, as harmless as numbers come; one person, one teacher, one classroom, and one school. What if you put two ones together? The result would be eleven. Eleven yellows mums, and eleven curious faces. The number is still not too dangerous, right? What if you add a zero between the ones? The number now is one hundred and one. One hundred and one memorials, one hundred and one American flags, eleven yellow mums, and one Arkansas Fallen Heroes Memorial.

On October 18, 2010 our journalism class took a trip to the Arkansas Fallen Heroes Memorial to see the soldiers who lost their lives. They were the men and women who left their families to protect us, people they didnít even know. Not caring that they had a chance of dying, these heroes sacrificed their lives for our freedom. The ages of the soldiers that died during the recent conflicts ranged from late teens to their early forties. Fifteen heroes died at twenty-four, the most recurrent deaths. The youngest was only eighteen years old, while the oldest soldier was forty-nine.

As we walked row among row, we couldnít help wondering what their stories really were. Each of these men and women were unique in their own way. What were their lives like? Did they have spouses or families? Did their sacrifices save their fellow soldiers? They were real people who had real lives, with real families who are still suffering from their losses. The feeling is like what Janet Smith told us when we first arrived. She expressed that she didnít know a soul personally at the memorial, but she knows how the families must feel. She lost a brother to war, as well. Mrs. Wyatt broke into tears when she said she was blessed her son never signed up, but she mourns for all of the soldiers who were in their twenties.

Regardless of how you may think or feel about the Fallen Heroes Memorial, it is important to thank those who brought this to our attention. We all agree that a man named Rob Hopper should be commended for what he has done. He wants people to understand how proud he is of our Arkansas soldiers. These soldiers died doing what was right for our country, although it doesnít heal the broken hearts of family and friends. These soldiers might have died, but they will forever be heroes to us.

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