Community Honors Fallen Soldiers with New Pavers

Posted at: 10/20/2012 9:36 PM
Updated at: 10/20/2012 11:33 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 News) -- There are now more than six thousand pavers at the Soldiers Field Memorial. Saturday community members gathered to honor the names on the most recent pavers, of which three of them honor our most recent fallen soldiers.

"Our veterans, our war dead, the very men and woman who have insured that we live in a free country today," said a ceremony speaker.

It was a ceremony to honor all of the names on the newest pavers at Soldiers Field Memorial, but three names stuck out.

"Travis, Curtis, and Nicholas are worthy of far greater recognition that awards and pavers,” said a ceremony speaker.

Travis Bruce, Curtis Swenson, and Nicholas Dickhut were all killed while serving in Afghanistan or Iraq.

"We will not forget them and we must remember the sacrifices made by our local heroes," said memorial president Wayne Stillman.

Family members of all three soldiers were there to see the community pay tribute.

"It makes you feel good that people remember and they're thinking of you," said Kay Swenson.

"It's so much it means so much to have that," said Victoria Bruce.

She was surprised and grateful to have a stranger come forward and offer to pay for her sons paver.

"This was the least we could do to for a very special mom and all the moms here," said the donor Teresa Thompson.

The other soldiers pavers were paid for by friends and strangers as well. The families hope that these pavers will keep their soldiers memory alive.

"For somebody to come walk here and see these walkways, it's pretty amazing," said Kay Swenson.

These simple stones etched with a name can mean so much

"There's an old saying as long as a name is spoken or written it'll never be forgotten, and that's what we want to do remember,” said Stillman.

The memorial committee is still accepting orders for 42 pavers that will complete the sidewalk on the west side.