Friends and family gathered Friday at Fort Sill to pay tribute to soldiers and their families from Oklahoma or Arkansas who have died while on active duty after the year 2001.
Hushed conversations and muted tones coming from a small army band is all that could be heard as friends and family gathered at Fort Sill for the dedication of the hall of remembrance.
While we may have heard the names of many of the soldiers on the wall there, most have been forgotten, except by the families they left behind. Now this hall will help those who visit this solemn room keep their memory alive..
"It's been really rough, it's been almost eleven years and you still remember it every day," Sherri Parker said as she looked at the picture of her son who died while undergoing heart surgery.
Each of the soldiers has a different story and each died in a different way. Some on the front lines and others in accidents off the battlefield but all of them while on active duty.
"These walls are the individuals of sons...daughters...mothers...fathers...sisters...and brothers our nations treasure," said Major General Mark McDonald, Commanding General at Ft. Sill.
Soldiers stood at attention while the name of each service man and women whose picture hangs on the wall was read. Sobs could be heard around as loved ones heard the name of their soldier.
More than one hundred and fifty pictures hang on the walls in the memorial. Each one a stark reminder of the price paid for freedom.
“It means a lot because we don't want anyone to forget any of them. Not just billy but any of them because you have no idea what it's like to get that knock on the door...that phone call," said Tina Bates who's brother William Bushnell was killed after a rocket propelled grenade struck his Hum-V.
The hall of remembrance memorial will be open to the public during weekdays from 7:30 to 4:30 and special accommodations for family members can be made by contacting the base.