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  • Writer's picturesonnyholmes

Remembering our brothers.

The above picture was taken at the dedication of The Citadel War Memorial during Citadel Homecoming, 2017. I took the photograph without anyone's permission as a personal remembrance of that day. It was Friday, October 27, 2017, my 68th birthday. The memorial is a remarkable remembrance, a dream and project of The Citadel Class of 1967. The dedication ceremony was also the beginning of their 50th Reunion. We have attended many chapel services, parades, homecoming events, graduation ceremonies, awards presentations, and other moving observances at my alma mater. Nothing has ever touched me as deeply as the dedication of The Citadel War Memorial, Thank you Citadel Class of 1967.

On that day, 759 names had been inscribed on the walls of the memorial, arranged in order of the wars in which these Citadel alumni had given their lives---

The War between the States 316

World War II 231

The Vietnam War 88

The Korean War 31 Wars in the Middle East 21

World War I 13

Lebanon 2

Each of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom were personnel of the United States military in some capacity---

United States Army 537

United States Air Force 89

United States Marine Corps 46

United States Navy 34

Active Duty Cadets 17

Allied force volunteers 5

If you would like to read more about The Citadel War Memorial, please click here.

Living in North Charleston I visit the memorial often, walk through the walls of names, and give thanks for their willingness to serve and give their lives in service of our country. Each time I thank our God for the many Citadel graduates who have served and now bear the honor of being recognized as a United States Veteran, including many classmates, The Citadel '71. Today, I am remembering these who died, these brothers who served so willingly and sacrificially.

The inscription of The Citadel War Memorial, written by John Warley, Citadel Class of 1967, prepares my mind and spirit to slowly walk through those walls---

When Country Calls,

The Citadel answers.

The brave warriors

immortalized here

honor all who went before

and who follow.

Duty done, they rest, so we may live free.

Speak softly in the company of heroes.

For many of us Memorial Day is anonymous and distant, symbols in a cemetery or a name inscribed in a family journal. Walking through The Citadel War Memorial brings the death of patriots closer to home. There are recognizable names there, men who were at the college during my years. They are Citadel brothers. Those names etched there help em remember these brothers.

Join me in remembering our brothers today.

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