BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Wednesday, November 11 is Veterans Day, and one man is spearheading a special effort to honor Vets who have died since 9/11. The plan is to build a monument park to recognize all 225 Alabama servicemen and women and who have been killed since that day, but that’s just part of the project and an ongoing commitment to those who served.
“When a Veteran is killed or dies in service, he or she dies two deaths. The first is when they die. The second is when we forget them,” says Montgomery native Mark Davis who served in the Navy during the Vietnam Era. He said he knows what it’s like to feel as if your service is not honored.
“Being a Vietnam Era Veteran, I was never really proud of my service. I just did my job but then I felt a heart for Veterans.”
Now he’s leading a project to help honor a select group of service men and women.
“I started up The Alabama Fallen Warriors Project in 2017. The vision was to build a bronze bust of every Alabama Veteran that’s been killed since 9/11.”
The busts are the handiwork of retired Marine Colonel Lee Busby of Tuscaloosa, and plans are underway for a permanent display at Veterans Park in Hoover.
Mark says the men and women will also be remembered in another way, “We have these cut outs of all 225 Veterans. We’re going to have fifteen rows and fifteen columns, all the Veterans at The UAB football game on Saturday, November 14.”
"The Veterans gave us our freedoms, that’s the bottom line. And if you think about it, everybody has a connection to somebody that served in some war, some branch of service. You just have to look into your heart and say, ‘I want to thank the military for their service, what they’ve done to give me my freedoms.’ "