Veteran memorizes names of every hero killed in Afghanistan


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — One veteran is paying tribute to all the service members killed in Afghanistan, keeping their memory alive by memorizing every single one of their names.

There are 2,300 names, and every name has the story of someone who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s been said that everybody dies two deaths,” said Ron White, veteran and memory expert. “They die the time that they die and they die the time that their name is spoken for the last time, and this is really a way to keep their memory alive.”

It’s an emotional moment for those who see the name of a loved one, but through the tears, they know those fighters of our freedom are now guardian angels.

“People will stand at the wall and they’ll wait for three hours to watch me write their grandson’s name,” White said. “Little kids who maybe never met dad will try to find their name on the wall.”

White also served in Afghanistan, but unlike the men and women who fill the wall, he got to come home. So his mission now is honoring these heroes.

“It’s important to remember these people because these people are stories of heroism,” said White. “They’re stories of bravery. They’re stories of courage.”

Though they may be gone, they’re not forgotten.

“I create images for every name, then I place those names around locations in buildings that I’m familiar with,” White said. “So when I’m standing at the wall, what I’m doing is walking through those buildings and I’m just going from spot to spot writing their names.”

White filled the wall Friday at the USAA campus in Colorado Springs. He spends about 10 hours writing the names and ranks of the heroes fallen in Afghanistan.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local Stories

More Local