It was about a year ago that Wyoming Governor Matt Mead asked some Wyoming veterans organizations if they could construct a lasting monument to Wyoming’s military members that have died in combat.
He also asked them if they could get it done before the end of his eighth and final year in office.
“It was important to the governor to ensure the sacrifice of Wyoming veterans would always be remembered,” said Steve Kravitsky, the Executive Director of the Wyoming Veterans Commission, who welcomed a large crowd, including many veterans and uniformed military members, at the Wyoming State Museum to celebrate the formal presentation of the Wyoming Fallen Warrior Memorial, Nov. 12, 2018.
“Today is a day where we dedicate this small token to the men and women of Wyoming and the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our State and Nation,” Kravitsky said.
The monument simply reads: “Wyoming Remembers
Dedicated to the many Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen & Coast Guardsmen and their families from Wyoming who made the ultimate sacrifice while in the service of our State & Nation. This monument serves as a memorial to all Wyoming Veterans who have died in service to our state and nation and their families and will do so in perpetuity.”
The monument, located on the east corner of Central Avenue and East 24th Street, still has some landscaping to finish, as well as the installation of two benches and a delicate barrier, constructed from the original steps of the capital building to allow the memorial to be a place of reflection and solitude. The project should be complete in the spring.
Maj. Gen. Luke Reiner, Wyoming adjutant general said, “The price of freedom is not free, and that, my fellow Americans, as you and I personally know, is the message this memorial silently screams.”
“This day is personal to me. It is personal to me because I have been decisively engaged in this nation’s longest war, for all of its 17 years. It is personal to me, because I enjoyed the privilege of knowing some of those we honor by this memorial today. It is personal to me because I shared some of the same challenges as those we honor here today, it is personal to me because I have commanded individuals we honor today and sent them to their war, and it is personal to me because I have knelt on a knee and presented a flag to a grieving spouse, or Mom, or both for those that we honor here today. I know that it is also personal for many of you here today, because you too have felt the sting of knowing that one of your friends, or subordinates, or fellow warriors would not drink with you tonight, or share a laugh with you tomorrow, or swap family stories during the next watch.”