A Salute to Our Troops: The Fallen Soldier Memorial at the University of Montana

By PATRICK RECORD

Last Friday, as the rain began to turn to snow, I stood and watched as a handful of Montana’s military men and women revealed the new Fallen Soldier Memorial at the University of Montana.

The Fallen Soldier Memorial under the lights. Photo by Patrick Record. Click to viewlarger.

I, like many other journalism students, had many reasons to attend the ceremony. I could have attended the event for a number of projects in any of my two journalism courses. That said, I chose to attend last Friday’s ceremony for selfish reasons.

Growing up with a number of veterans in my family, including my father, and seeing the affect the Vietnam War has had on my uncles, I’ve always found it important to show support for our veterans.

In addition to my family members I have a few friends, and a roommate, who are veterans and are currently enlisted with the Montana Air National Guard.

The Stars and Stripes fly in honor of our troops. Photo by Patrick Record. Click to viewlarger.

“I appreciate the University’s efforts to honor the service of veterans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Josh Bartz, Technical Sergeant said. “They are taken for granted far too often,” he added.

This memorial honoring the 40 service men from Montana who paid the ultimate price during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom makes me proud to be a student at the University of Montana.

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For more Veterans’ Day coverage, see United States of Hope director Sam Redfern’s tribute to his fellow service members, a multimedia piece on the Remembrance Day National Roll Call Ceremony, and a Veterans’ Day Photo Gallery by the UM photojournalism students.

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Prior to moving to Missoula to attend the University of Montana’s Journalism School, Patrick Record lived in Los Angeles, where he worked as a freelance audio technician and camera operator. Currently, he’s the photographer for the UM Foundation. Patrick is also minoring in Central and Southwestern Asian Studies and his career goal is to be a war photographer following graduation from the journalism school.