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Traveling war memorial stops in Tampa this week

Mar 16 2022
Jenny Dean | WTSP

TAMPA, Fla. — As the home of U.S. Central Command, Tampa has a rich history with the military.

It's one of the reasons why the city is a perfect place to remember our fallen service members.

A traveling memorial will give everyone a chance this week to honor so many who have served our country in the Global War on Terror.

It will be set up at MacDill Park on the Riverwalk, a small park with a big meaning. It honors the contributions that MacDill Air Force Base has made to the community. It's also home to a beautiful memorial honoring Gold Star Families.

The new, temporary exhibit is called "Remembering Our Fallen." It's a photographic war memorial honoring those who have been killed in the War on Terror. It's unique because it allows you to put a face with a name and truly understand the sacrifice they have made.

The exhibit is especially important to Gold Star Families. Craig Gross lost his son Corporal Frank Gross in July 2011. He was killed in an IED attack in Afghanistan. Corporal Gross' picture is part of the exhibit.

"There's a saying that a soldier will die twice. The first time when they're killed in action and then the second time when people quit mentioning their names and forget their sacrifice. So this is very, very important," Gross said.

Ben Eason is with CRISP Tampa, which helped bring the memorial to Tampa.

"There's photographs of like 5,000 people who have given their lives since 9/11 so it's really impactful. It goes from 2001 to summer 2021 when they put it together," Eason said.

The "Remembering Our Fallen War Memorial" will also feature Tribute Towers to recognize servicemen and women who died from training accidents or attacks while stationed stateside or on overseas bases. Those who return from war with invisible wounds or post-traumatic stress will also be included in the towers.

The exhibit goes up Wednesday morning at Macdill Park on the Riverwalk at 100 N. Ashley Drive.

It should be set up by noon Wednesday and stand all week long through Sunday. You'll be able to check it out from morning until dusk.