A crowd of veterans and citizens gathered for the unveiling of the Idaho Fallen Soldier Memorial on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The new memorial for soldiers who have died since the attack currently has 51 names engraved on two pillars.
“This memorial will ensure that the heroes of Idaho are always remembered for their sacrifice for our freedoms, and that future generations will be reminded to never forget those who ensured the continuation of our great nation,” said Brig. Gen. Alan Gayhart, who led the unveiling ceremony. “We will never forget and will always remember those that sacrificed so much so that we can continue to live in the greatest nation on earth.”
The memorial is located in front of the Old Ada County Courthouse, which is next to the Idaho State Capitol. Private donations, not taxpayer dollars, paid for the memorial.
Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter read the names of all 51 fallen soldiers as members of an honor guard pointed out their names on the memorial. The governor also quoted Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine in his brief remarks before the honor guard unveiled the memorial.
After the short ceremony, visitors were invited to take tracing paper and crayons to make rubbings of the fallen soldiers’ names. A walkway to the memorial was lined with American flags, with pictures of all the deceased Idahoans attached to the flagpoles.