Memorial honoring military members killed in Afghanistan on display at Idaho Falls home
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IDAHO FALLS – A local man is hosting a memorial honoring the 13 military men and women killed in an explosion at the Kabul airport last week.
Colby Burgess of Idaho Falls has 13 crosses set up in his yard with a marine flag in the middle. An American flag is also on display.
In the wake of the tragic news on Thursday, Burgess tells EastIdahoNews.com he felt inspired to do something to honor the sacrifices of these men and women and they have friends in the military who knew some of them personally.
“We’re actually from Wyoming and we lived in a community close to (Rylee McCollum). The outreach from … these communities is just outstanding. Everybody always wants to give. So the support of just the (memorial) in my yard is unreal,” Burgess says.
Noting the tremendous amount of money that was raised in support of McCollum’s family over the weekend, Burgess says this memorial is his way of showing his respect to McCollum and the other service members.
He quietly set it up in his yard Sunday afternoon, never intending it to be anything more than just a simple tribute for him and his family to see. But the neighborhood took notice.
Burgess says a woman made a post about it on Facebook and word of the memorial quickly spread
“By the time we got inside, it was all over Facebook. People were stopping by. It turned into a bigger thing than what we were anticipating,” Burgess explains. “My phone’s been (ringing) nonstop since then.”
Realizing there was so much interest, he decided it was worth it to open it up to the community to come and pay their respects.
With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 just weeks away, Burgess looks back on how Americans reacted that day and he’s hoping the events of the last week will evoke a similar response from people throughout the country.
“Whenever something like this happens … it’s amazing how America always rises up and everybody comes together. That’s what America is about and I just want people to see that we continue to support that,” says Burgess.
The memorial tribute is on display at 4347 East Ellington Way in Idaho Falls. Beginning at 8 p.m., the community is invited to come and see it. Trucks from Intermountain Gas (where Burgess works) will be there flashing strobe lights to help set the mood. Ammon Fire Department and Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office may also make an appearance.
“I know some people might bring candles (for a prayer vigil or something),” he says. “I don’t think it will be too long, but we’ll be here for as long as people want to stay.”