By: Lanetra Bennett
June 5, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - They gave their lives serving our country, and today, Leon County Schools made sure they'll never be forgotten.
The "Wall of Remembrance" was unveiled to honor the district's fallen heroes.
Alberta Simmons shows off her son's graduation picture and diploma as she remembers the day her son, Shawn Simmons, graduated from high school in 1987.
She also remembers the day he was killed in Afghanistan in 2008.
Now, he'll forever be remembered by the community through the "Wall of Remembrance".
Leon County Schools honored the ten former students who died while serving in combat since 1991.
Simmons says, "While I'm sad, I'm also very, very happy and very honored that Leon County School Board and our Superintendent Jackie Pons did this to ensure that our sacrifice is always remembered."
The memorial wall was unveiled Wednesday in front of the Bloxham Building on Calhoun Street.
Each name, their military branch and their high school are engraved.
School Superintendent Jackie Pons says, "These ten students that graduated from our schools and live in our community, they're heroes to our community. It's fitting that we remember them."
Meredith McMackin's son, Corporal Julian Woodall, graduated from SAIL in 2004.
The marine was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on his second deployment in 2007.
McMackin says, "It's really nice. I really appreciate it. It's a beautiful memorial. It's nice to be remembered by the community."
The memorial was two years in the making. It was made possible through donations from various businesses in the community.
Press Release: Leon County Schools
This morning, Leon County School's (LCS) staff and students honored 10 former LCS's students who gave their lives serving in a combat environment in the armed forces since 1991.
LCS unveiled and dedicated a moving memorial as a testament to their sacrifice this morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Bloxham Building (725 S. Calhoun St.).
Names of the students honored:
Sgt. Jesse “Nathan” Aliganga, USMC, - Leon High School
HMC (SEAL) Mathew J. Bourgeois, Navy - Leon High School
ENS (SEAL) Jerry “Buck” O. Pope, Navy - Leon High School
SPC Robert A. Wise, Army, - Godby High School
1SG Alan Gifford, Army - Lincoln High School
LCpl Daniel B. Chaires, USMC – Lincoln High School
Cpl Julian M. Woodall, USMC - SAIL
MSG Shawn E. Simmons, Army - Leon High School
PFC Anthony W. Simmons, Army - Godby High School
PFC Brandon M. King, Army - Rickards High School