Fort Campbell Survivor Outreach Services and the 101st Airborne Division held their Military Survivor Appreciation Week at the end of September. Several events are held throughout the week, but it was their Boots On The Ground display that brought it all home.
With more than 7,000 boots on the lawn of the Division Headquarters, the display is awe-inspiring. Each boot represents a fallen solider who died in active duty since September 11, 2001. The boots were collected from military service members across Fort Campbell and abroad. Every boot honors the memory and sacrifices of the men and women who gave their lives while serving the country.
Visitors came from all over to pay their respects to the fallen and witness the power of the spectacular display. Children gingerly stepped between the rows, respectful of the standing boots as if they were headstones.
Rows upon rows of boots were arranged in an arc, making the display appear as if it went on indefinitely. Many of the boots were adorned with pictures, flowers and mementos from family members and friends. The photos and drawings from the surviving children were lamented to protect the art from the elements. The impressive display is a powerful one.
The display was open to the community through October 2. Information tables were available for anyone wanting to learn more about the boots or needed assistance finding a loved one.