NORMAN — The American Fallen Warrior Memorial Tour will be in Moore on Sunday. The exhibit will be located at The Home Depot, 650 SW 19th St.
Build it Now America – that’s the rallying cry of the American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation (AFWMF) as it prepares to launch its national GoldStar11 tour in order to raise awareness and funds for the building of a $30 million national Memorial in Kansas City, Kan., to honor those fallen service men and women lost in conflicts since the Gulf War.
The GoldStar11 tour will begin on Aug. 31, at the Red Sox JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., and wind its way through 14 cities and 13 states before finishing up on Sept. 23, at the Fort Douglas Military Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The tour’s top headliners will be two historic and inanimate artifacts known as Star11 and UT6. Both Star11 and UT6 are cement blocks that were removed from the slurry wall at Ground Zero under the World Trade Center and commissioned to be sculpted into finished forms of 9/11 memorial artwork. Star11 will become the showcase artifact at the must-be-built American Fallen Warrior Memorial in Kansas City. UT6 will have a celebrated resting place at Fort Douglas.
The traveling convoy, which is free and open to the public, will enable visitors to climb onto the convoy’s staging area to touch and take photographs with Star11 and UT6. During this viewing time, patriotic music will regale the crowds and a large American flag, courtesy of Annin Flagmakers, will be hoisted and flying above the entire scene. Also on stage will be Gold Star family members, veterans, military and elected officials wishing to share personal stories, celebrate loved ones and welcome AFWMF officials.
The professionally produced live entertainment show will be handled by AFWMF spokespeople and performers such as Nathan Osmond, Jeff Senour, Diana Nagy and Bert Lynch.
The tour’s name is a reference to Gold Star Families who have lost members in American military conflicts. Gold Star Mothers are those American women who have lost a son or daughter in service to the United States, and refer to service flags hung in windows of families since World War I. On the last Sunday in September, Gold Star Mother’s Day is observed in the U.S. in their honor.
“This is a very exciting time,” said Tonya Evans, Founder/CEO of the American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation and recipient of the 2013 Eagle Rare Rare Life Award. “This tour will be a physical manifestation of our total team effort to fund and build a national memorial befitting our fallen warriors. We’re thrilled the Atlanta Braves; Atlanta Motor Speedway; Boston Red Sox; St. Louis Cardinals; Indiana War Memorial; Nashville War Memorial Auditorium; Amarillo Civic Center; Shepherdsville, Kentucky; Moore, Okla.; Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kan., and the Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kan., are examples of the teams, cities, and venues that have endorsed our mission and partnered with us on this tour in honor of our Fallen Warriors.”
“As this nation concludes its long military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, we cannot forget the nearly 7,000 Americans who have lost their lives as a result of conflicts since the Gulf War started,” Evans said. “Nor can we overlook the terrible price paid by their families. Every American who benefits from their ultimate sacrifice should be supporting this effort to build the national memorial now so we can honor and celebrate their lives.”