CHESTER – Nebraska’s “Wall of the Fallen” after 9-11 honors the 114 Nebraskans who perished in the line of duty since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
The monument, which was created by Patriotic Productions in 2010, has been on display at Chester’s Municipal Auditorium since Monday, and will remain there until Apr. 29.
On Wednesday night, the We Love our Vets Committee, a small group based in Chester, organized an hour-long program at the auditorium which featured musical performances from Heath Hoge, the brother of Hubbell native and Nashville recording artist Lucas Hoge.
Lucas Hoges’ song “Medal of Honor” was played at the end of the program, while the Hebron Girl Scouts kicked things off by leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
The night centered around the reading of names – the names and ranks of every Nebraska native who has perished in combat since Sept. 11, 2001.
At the end of the night, everyone in attendance went outside to release 114 red, white and blue balloons into the air. Each balloon had the name of a perished soldier printed on a small piece of paper and taped to the side.
Marge Vieselmeyer recently helped organize a similar event for the Kansas fallen. When she was asked to do the same for Chester, she didn’t hesitate.
The idea behind Wednesday’s program was pretty straightforward for Vieselmeyer, whose father served in the Air Force during the Korean conflict, and whose neighbor perished in Vietnam. His name was Bill.
“I just hope people realize (their sacrifice) and never forget,” Vieselmeyer said pointedly. “The youngest one that died was 18, and the oldest was 43. The one that was 43, (he died) on his fourth tour.
“If you remember their names, then they are not forgotten.”
The Wall of the Fallen made appearances at Tri County High School and in Plymouth during the week of Veteran’s Day last November.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.