History of the Wall
Faces of the Fallen is a visual tribute to each serviceman or woman killed in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The display was created in 2003 by Alicia Tallman for her senior project at Milwaukie High School. Her sister, Kelly Tallman, assumed responsibility for updating the display. All of the students who have worked on Faces of the Fallen have taken great pride and ownership in the project, ensuring that each individual is properly honored.
When InSpirit Marketing Inc. started B-Mart Freedom Fest celebration in Albany nine years ago, they arranged for the Faces of the Fallen to be brought to Albany and set up at Heritage Mall from late October through the weekend after Veterans Day. InSpirit Marketing continued this every year until 2014, at which time they looked for an organization to take over possession and maintain the Hall of Honor.
Vets Helping Vets HQ was approached and took possession of it the summer of 2014. The Wall of Honor formerly known as Faces of the Fallen, was only current through the year 2010. During the time it was on display at the Heritage Mall in Albany, Oregon 2014, Arthur Meeker, owner of Xtreme Grafx, a graphic art company, approached Vets Helping Vets HQ, (VHVHQ), with a proposal that he would reprint all the data on new panels before the next viewing in October, 2015. Many thousands of hours was put in to create a new format for the new “Wall of Honor”. October 9, 2015 6:30 pm the last panel was printed to represent those servicemen and women of all branches across the USA that paid the price in Iraq and Afghanistan. Later that evening it was put on display at the Heritage Mall again, only this time with a new look.
The Wall of Honor represents our Fallen Heroes from 2001 through 2016. As of February, 2017, it now includes the service men and women killed in action of Desert Storm and Desert Shield. The “new” Wall of Honor did not change much in size. Each panel is 38” by 82”. There are now 32 panels with 104 names on each side of the panels. There are 2 panels dedicated to Major sponsors and panels that explain when and how each of the wars began.
We have to remember that while most people celebrate Veterans Day and Memorial Day just two days per year, for Gold Star families, those who have lost someone in war, those memories are every day of the year. There is an empty chair at the dinner table every night.