A traveling memorial has been unveiled, honoring the fallen military men and women of New York. The names of more than 260 servicemen and women from the Empire State are engraved on gold plates on six walls. Members of the "never forget foundation" hosted a brunch and ceremony for family members who lost loved ones in fighting overseas. At the same time many are focused on helping troops who return from war and need help. One major hurdle they face is finding employment. In Midtown Sunday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced a proposal to require servicemen and women to take job skills training before leaving the military. Katherine Creag reports.
A traveling memorial wall honoring the lives of soldiers from New York State who died while serving in Iraq and in Afghanistan was unveiled in the Bronx Sunday.
Created and developed by the Never Forget Foundation, the portable Wall of Honor contains the names of 267 troops on six cherry wood panels.
Among the names on the wall is Army Sgt. Deon Taylor, a Bronx soldier who died in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan in 2008.
His brother DaMarr McBean and his mother Pamela Taylor were at the ceremony Sunday, and said they were touched by the memorial. "It's been three years already," said McBean. "He's still being remembered."
The family of another young soldier killed in 2007, Marine Cpl. Christopher Scherer, also expressed appreciation for the project.
"It's always nice when someone remembers our sons," said Tim Scherer, the father of Christopher. "That's all we ask. They made the ultimate sacrifice."
A few other local soldiers honored in the wall include Sgt. James McNaughton of Middle Village, the first New York City police officer to die in combat, and Sgt. Christian Engeldrum of the Bronx, the first New York City firefighter to die in combat. Medal of Honor recipients Cpl. Jason Dunham and Lt. Michael Murphy are also listed.
The Never Forget Foundation said this was the first portable memorial wall of its kind in the nation, and was created to be a traveling tribute to the New York military members who died in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
The organization went through hundreds of pages in Department of Defense records to gather the names and information for the memorial wall.