Remembering our Fallen Exhibit in Tallahassee

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By Julie Montanaro
October 10, 2014

Families who've lost loved ones in the war on terror gathered at the Florida Capitol this afternoon.

A new exhibit on the 22nd floor shows the smiling faces of Florida service men and women who have lost their lives since September 11th.

There are more than 300 of them.

"The public needs to understand what these men and women died for and never forget them," Robert Mills said. His son Lea Mills was 21 when he died in combat operations in Iraq in 2006.

"It makes me proud of him to see it here but also it means all these other people can see it here and his name will be remembered," Dean Coleman said. His son Justin Coleman was 21 when he died in Afghanistan in 2009.

The photos will be on display on the second floor of the Tallahassee Regional Airport for the next two weeks.

"Remembering Our Fallen" is hoping to create traveling exhibits in all 50 states by Memorial Day 2016.

News Release
October 10, 2014

Family members of Florida's Fallen, along with members of the public, attended a very emotional photo exhibit today, "Remembering Our Fallen."

It is a stark reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by 300 Floridians killed in The War on Terror while wearing our country's uniform. The photo display includes military and personal photos of our country's Fallen who called Florida home.

"We can never forget those who sacrificed everything for our freedom. We must remember these American Heroes and speak their names when we see their family members," said Dr. Mary Hawkins, President of Bellevue University.

A list of Florida's Fallen included in the display is listed below:

  • SSG Michael Thomas stitched up Afghan locals in a poppy field, and when he learned the plight of some Afghan women, he and a buddy bought a sewing machine so they could earn a living.
  • PFC Christopher T. Blaney enjoyed volunteering in a capacity that allowed him to work with lions and tigers; the personal photo of him on the display shows him with a live leopard.
  • CW2 Aaron A. Weaver survived the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down) and died in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2004.
  • SFC Paul R. Smith and SSG Robert J. Miller received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

    The exhibit was created by Patriotic Productions of Omaha. Similar displays have been created for the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Arizona and more will be unveiled in 2015. Each display is portable and designed to travel. Most communities have opening ceremonies upon arrival. Family members of area Fallen are often invited to attend and bring personal items of their Fallen Hero.

    "Remembering Our Fallen" is sponsored by Bellevue University, a private, non-profit University in Bellevue, Nebraska. Founded in 1966, with the charter of serving our military heroes, it has been a military-friendly school for 45 years. Bellevue University was an early adopter of distance learning and is now a leader in online education with students in the 50 US states and 55 foreign countries, including Afghanistan and Iraq. More information can be found at This LINK.

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