By Lea Johnson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — A special exhibit honoring fallen military members is currently on display in the Building 350 atrium.
The “Remembering Our Fallen” display is the brainchild of Bill and Evonne Williams of Nebraska. They said having a son who served two tours in a war zone helped them appreciate the sacrifices made by the military and their loved ones. Their son made it back from each tour safely, but they recognized many others did not.
“The Williamses put together this display in tribute to those individuals who have given the ultimate sacrifice to the country,” said Master Sgt. Rick Renzi, Airman Leadership School commandant and coordinator for the display.
The Williamses created the original display in November 2010 for the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Ashland, Neb. The exhibit included photos of the 98 service members from Nebraska and western Iowa who died in overseas contingency operations since Sept. 11, 2001.
Renzi said the Williamses, after realizing the impact the first photo display made upon not only the families of the fallen, but also the general public, felt that this project should be completed in other states to remind people of the cost of freedom while, hopefully, helping to lessen the grief on the families.
Sponsorship for all of the state displays comes from Bellevue University.
The Colorado display was first shown in October 2011. As of May 3, Renzi said, the display has 89 photos of Colorado military members who have been killed in action since 9/11. These military members were residents of Colorado, but not necessarily stationed here at the time of their death.
Standing eight feet high, the display covers 40 linear feet. Peterson AFB is the 10th location for the display. It can be viewed by anyone with base access at no charge.
“We hope people will just take 20 or 30 minutes out of their day to come over and view it,” Renzi said. “We can’t forget who they are, we can’t forget what they’ve done, and if there’s one little thing we can do for them since they’re not here, it’s to remember them and what they did for each and every one of us.”
The display can be viewed through July 5.