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Traveling display of America's heroes gets hero's welcome

Posted at 10:23 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 23:23:56-04

MARLIN, TX — A unique tribute to those who gave their lives for freedom in the wake of the 9/11 attacks opened Monday in the Falls County town of Marlin, which became the only city in Texas and one of the few in the United States to host it.

In the U.S. War on Terror that followed 9/11, many Americans gave their lives, including 21-year-old Marine Corps. service member Matt Medlicott of Houston and 31-year old Army soldier Brad Gaudet of Gladewater.

They're among the hundreds being honored in the display.

"Represented here we have about 5,100. 70% of the fallen, 600 or so from Texas," said Nola Fritz with the "Remembering the Fallen" tour.

Marlin wanted this exhibit, even paying a premium to get it here after other cities canceled due to COVID-19 fears.

"They said, "Yes bring it down. We want it here, and it's great to see true patriots,"" she said.

Many Marlin citizens lined the streets for a parade that ushered in the exhibit.

"I think it's fabulous because they're good people... a lot of bravery," said Betty Collinsworth of Marlin.

If you look at the pictures, you'll see not only warriors but Americans who volunteered to protect our way of life so the rest of us could remain free.

"You know, we had kids graduate from high school this year who were not born when this all started," said Fritz.

One of the reasons this Texas town wanted this display is to teach its children about freedom and sacrifice.

"They're gonna hear about it for the rest of their lives, but I think this is kinda like a hands-on. I want them to see these photos," explained Byrleen Terry, who serves on the Marlin ISD Board of Managers.

Photos installed by first responders from every corner of Falls County as their way of saying thanks for the sacrifice these men and women made after a very dark day in American history

The display features photographs and remembrances from Gold Star families around the country and will remain on display at the Falls County Youth Fair building from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Election Day.