This year marks the 10th annual field of heroes in Pocatello. On Monday volunteers began laying out the thousands of crosses that will represent the American men and women who’ve lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Organizers say they’ll add over 30 additional crosses this year. Although the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are technically over, American troops continue to be in harm’s way while serving in those countries.  There are 6,868 markers representing every service member who has died in Iraq or Afghanistan. Heidi Young, Public Relations for Idaho Field of Heroes says, "It becomes... in essence kind of like a cemetery."

Volunteers, young and old will fill this field, working sunrise to sundown over the next week. "It generally takes us about four days to get it all completely set up,” said Young. For what started as a tribute on a smaller field a decade ago, at Irving Middle School, and has now expanded all the way out to Century High. John Rogers says, "I wanna make sure that Iraq and Afghanistan vets were not (inaudible). So I put this up as a memorial so everyone can see it."

Roger’s is the found of Field of Heroes and a Vietnam Vet. His efforts for this memorial have not gone unnoticed. He says, "What's really surprising is you hear the numbers on TV, until they see all the crosses they have no idea really what's going on."

Helping set up for this commemoration is how 17-year-old Nicholas McJimsey is paying tribute before leaving for boot camp this Fall. He says, "It's a really cool feeling seeing everyone here trying to give a memorial to people that served for the country... it's the best way."

With every name represented on this field, it symbolizes a family who’s still paying the price of a lost loved one, "What this is about is honoring not only the sacrifice of service members who have given their all, but their families who continue to carry on without them,” said Young.

Events are planned throughout the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, starting off with the annual dedication this Friday at 10 a.m. For a complete schedule of their events click here.


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