Veteran’s Day Project Aims to Recite Names of All Fallen Soldiers Since the Revolutionary War

Veteran’s Day Event to Honor ALL Fallen Soldiers

A group of United States Marines have set their minds to undertaking an ambitious Veteran’s Day project . . . they are recruiting veterans from around the country to read the names of every fallen soldier from the Revolutionary War to the present.  Not just those from Afghanistan; not just those from Iraq or from other battles in the Middle East; not just as far back as the Vietnam or Korean Wars.  The goal is to go as far back in United States military history as possible.

That’s over a million names but if the names are broken down into smaller lists and 600 groups or locations participate, organizers say the mission can be accomplished.

Brandon Blackstone, a marine from Arlington, MD, is one of the project organizers. “It’s definitely a monumental task,” Blackstone said in a recent interview with Stars and Stripes magazine. “All you need is a podium, a microphone, a bell and an American flag. This has never been done before that we know of, but we’re going to do it.”

Blackstone is a member of The Fight Continues, a group of marines whose mission is to educate the public on sacrifices made by military families.

In  2004, while deployed in Husaybah, Iraq, Blackstone was severely injured when his Humvee struck an anti-tank mine. He met the other Marines in The Fight Continues at the Midwest Marines Foundation in St. Louis, which helps wounded, ill and injured marines and corpsmen returning from war transition back into civilian life.

This will be the first Veterans Day since the Iraq war ended.

“We are the next generation going forward and it’s time for us to give back,” Blackstone said.

Finding locations and getting enough veterans involved in reciting the names of over a million fallen soldiers is a timely process but organizers are optimistic that enough participants will step forward.  Mike LeBlanc, who works at the Midwest Marine Foundation, is gathering the names from the Defense Department and historical societies that have caches of names.  The goal is to acquire as many names as possible as far back as history allows.

In January, the group executed the same concept on a much smaller scale at a large welcome home parade for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  Volunteers recited names of all 6,502 soldiers killed in those wars. After each name was read, a bell tolled.  The service took about 12 hours.

Organizers are reaching out to universities, schools, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, the American Legion and Veteran Owned Businesses to host the readings. If they can find 600 locations, organizers estimate volunteers at each spot could handle about 1,750 names.  If about eight names per minute are recited, each reading should take three to four hours.
On The Fight Continues website, organizers have posted locations that have already confirmed.

THE FIGHT CONTINUES Mission: the Reading of the Fallen Date for event is Veterans Day Sunday November 11, 2012 with start times anywhere between  12 p.m.-4 p.m. We at the “The Fight Continues” are starting a Veteran Service Project for the first Veterans Day after the end of the Iraq war. For all young Veterans who want to give something back, we at “The Fight Continues” will read all names of our fallen veterans throughout all conflicts from the birth of the United States of States.

You may also like...