ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – More than 600 portraits of fallen soldiers from Texas soil hang in a hall on the West Texas fair grounds, giving thousands the chance to reflect on lives taken in action.
Inside the Big Country Hall on the West Texas Fair and Rodeo midway, are 618 pictures of military members all killed in action since September 11, 2001.
The pictures are on display with the Texas collection of the national organization ‘Remembering Our Fallen’. Curator Bobby Withrow, who is a veteran himself, began the Lone Star state’s collection after a request made to him by the mother of a fallen soldier.
“I got hurt while I was at work. I was out for about a year when a Blue Star mother called and said I’ve got something you can do,” said Withrow.
That call came roughly five years ago, Withrow has since taken the tribute across Texas, in the next two months alone he has scheduled stops in Victoria, Texas City and a three-week stay at the Texas State Fair.
“It’s something I don’t want to stop and don’t plan on stopping,” said Withrow.
The pictures are printed on square banners strung up in groups of four on large, crisscross style hanging racks. A picture of a fallen serviceman or woman dots the corner of each banner along with the soldier’s hometown, how they died and where.
Withrow says families often stop by the display to see their own fallen soldier, they leave notes and flowers for their veteran. Withrow encourages anyone else to do the same.
“They died serving our country and we need to remember that,” said Withrow.
‘Remembering Our Fallen’ will be displayed at the fair through this Saturday.
Withrow is also the CEO and President of Texas Fallen Project, Inc. For more information on the nonprofit click this link.