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Why do we need the Tribute Wall

It is a symbol through which collectively we pay tribute to our countrymen who stepped forward, put their lives on the line, and defended our freedom. It’s because of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who never returned home to their loved ones that we must never forget the importance of the Tribute Wall.

The Tribute Wall is an affirmation of our respect and gratitude to the men and women who died in the service to our country. Soldiers such as Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Chapman, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s own 1st Special Forces Group, who was the first American soldier killed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on Jan. 4, 2002. This soldier, and the generations who came before and after exemplify the very best in us all. They served with honor and put the welfare of our nation before their own; they remind us of the high price of freedom.

The Tribute Wall reminds us that we must never be lulled into a false sense that today’s world is safe and free from all-out war or tyranical leaders. In the early 1920s, a young Winston Churchill cautioned his countrymen about this attitude. “War is too foolish, too fantastic, to be thought of in the 20th century,” he wrote. “Civilization has climbed above such perils. The interdependence of nations in trade and traffic, the sense of public law, the Hague Convention, liberal principles … common sense have rendered such nightmares impossible. Are you quite sure? It would be a pity to be wrong.”

The Tribute Wall prompts us to keep the spirit of our fallen heroes alive. We can never allow our Gold Star mothers and fathers to fade into obscurity, as they represent the legacy of their fallen sons and daughters. They carry with them a grief that most of us will never understand. However, in the midst of their pain, they are beacons of hope. They strive to keep the memory of their soldier, sailor, airman or Marine alive by working to help veterans, soldiers and their families.

The Tribute Wall remind us about the casualty of war. Dating back to World War II there are more than 80,000 military personnel still missing. “We will never leave a fallen comrade.” This sentence, from the soldier’s creed, speaks to every American. It is our duty to ensure we never give up and never forget our sons and daughters who are missing.


As citizens of this great republic, we have not lived under tyranny. We have the right to voice our opinions, the right to vote, and worship how we choose. Freedom is an accepted norm, but it comes with a high price. Since the war in Afghanistan ended, we cannot let our patriotic fervor die.

The sacrifice of the thousands who gave their all must never be forgotten. They are our greatest treasure!

We must never forget that the American Soldier is a part of the fabric that makes us the greatest nation on Earth. The Tribute Wall helps us remember...



The Tribute to America's Fallen Foundation Inc. through the GoldStars Tribute Wall TM seeks to honor those that paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Please join us in this very special mission to insure their sacrifice was not in vain.

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