NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – A traveling war memorial will make its way to Niagara Falls this spring.
The VAU Fallen Heroes Memorial honors the men and women who have died since 9/11 in the War on Terror.
It’s a massive American flag, standing taller than a person and more than four times as wide. A Battlefield Cross stands in front. The traveling VAU Fallen Heroes Memorial is coming to Hyde Park in June. It’s a 28-foot long by 6-foot high U.S. flag made out of dog tags about 7,000 dog tags because that’s about how many have died since September 11 in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflicts.
Hyde Park will host this one-of-a-kind memorial thanks to the City of Niagara Falls, The Renegades of WNY, a veteran-owned business called Combat Plumbing, and the KIA Memorial Roadmarch, founded by Sergeant Major Jason Jaskula.
“It’s an amazing thing to see because it’s not just the names that are on the wall…But each of those names have someone affiliated with it, whether it’s a mom, a dad, sons, daughters, brothers, uncles, friends,” said Jaskula.
Hyde Park will serve as a fitting location. It’s already home to the Niagara Falls Veterans Memorial. Specialist Michael Wahlers is looking forward to it.
“To be able to see it in person, to have that impact, especially being an Iraq War Veteran for two tours, seven of my friends are on that wall,” Wahlers, of Hamburg VFW Post 1419, said. “So being able to go there, find their names, and show some respect to them and to everybody else who sacrificed their lives for our freedom is huge.”
The VAU Fallen Heroes Memorial can be seen June 6 and 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and plans for opening and closing ceremonies will be announced as the visit gets closer. To help with the cost of bringing the Fallen Heroes Memorial to WNY, you can make a secure donation through the KIA Memorial Roadmarch website.