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After a fall that saw more than 20 inches of rain across East Texas interrupt more than one planned outing or another, the clouds evaporated one glorious weekend, bathing the traveling wall that is a tribute to America’s fallen, in bright sunlight.

Thousands of visitors from across the region visited the memorial over a four-day period. They came by car, truck and motorcycle. Many were aging veterans and their friends and family. Most walked among the displays, some were in wheelchairs and others used walkers, but they came… they came and touched the wall in emotional moments that spoke of pain, unrealized dreams and losses only they will ever know.

Simply copying the names on the wall spanned light years of technology, from simply etching with pencil and paper, to photographing by phones.

We hope the photos taken during the event in Mineola will help remind those who spend a few minutes viewing the pictures of the sacrifices made by the individuals and their families.

The men and women named on the wall were sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers and each would have loved to have been among us.

They answered our nation’s call to duty and in doing so they gave their lives so that we can enjoy a quality of life beyond what many in the world ever dream of.

We owe those that gave their lives for our nation a pledge to honor their sacrifices by doing what we each can do to help preserve America, as the land of opportunity and the Land of the Free.