Monument honoring fallen heroes unveiled at Government Center

For Paul Voorhees, it's simply a matter of heart.

Voorhees, the owner of Ranger Joe's, was talking about the unveiling Friday afternoon of a monument honoring service members who have given their life for our country.

"It's very difficult for people to see your heart," said Voorhees, "It's a way for us to show our heart to the soldiers and their families."

The moument, featuring a bronze casting by Richard Rist sitting atop a granite marker, now resides permanently at the Government Center in Columbus, on the 10th Street side, next to a monument to soldiers from the Vietnam War.

The idea for the memorial began with Judge Michael Cielinski, who saw photographs from an April 2002 memorial service in Savannah, Georgia, for three soldiers killed during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan. It was, in particular, the image of the empty pair of boots, rifle and helmet that struck a chord.

Cielinski contacted Voorhees and the two began planning the memorial.

The Columbus Consolidated Government has installed four lights to light the memorial.

"We are grateful for what you do, standing in the gap for us, around the world," said Columbus Mayor Jim Wetherington Friday, thanking Fort Benning representatives at the noon ceremony.

The inscription on the memorial, which honors all service branches, reads "All Gave Some-Some Gave All. Dedicated to the memory of all who proudly served and protected their country."

The granite marker supporting the bronze sculpture reads " In Honor Of Our Fallen Heroes."