Long Beach To Honor Americans Killed In Action Since 9/11
For two years, Laura Herzog has been on a mission to honor the nearly 7,000 military service members who've been killed in America's wars since 9/11.
On May 30th, Memorial Day, she'll realize her dream at a dedication ceremony for a memorial wall in Rosie the Riveter Park in Long Beach. A 1,200 foot long section of a pre-existing wall, once covered with crawling ivy, will hold ten massive black granite slabs engraved with the names of the fallen.
The names of those 6,864 service members are being engraved on them now.
"It's a little overwhelming for me" she said. "I can only imagine what it's going to be like to watch it actually be completed." The memorial cost $55,000 to build, and was paid for through private donations.
The last name on the memorial will be Petty Officer First Class Charles Keating IV's. He's a Navy SEAL who was killed in northern Iraq fighting the self-described Islamic State on May 3rd.
But Herzog said there's room on the last slab for about 70 more names, as the wars are not over.
Fifteen of the dead are from Long Beach, where Herzog's group offers support to relatives of service members - and also police officers and firefighters - who die on duty.
"The universal message from the families were: ‘we just don’t want people to forget'," she said.