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America Supports You: Memorial to Honor Fallen Troops From Nevada

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2005 – Nevada officials are preparing to dedicate a memorial to the 29 servicemembers who hailed from that state and died in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The idea for the memorial came from Helana Lukac, mother of Marine Pfc. John Lukac, who died in 2004. Jason Butler of Las Vegas Rock, Inc. designed and carved the memorial with input from Phil Randazzo, a Las Vegas businessman active in troop-support issues, and various family members.

The memorial is composed of meta-quartzite rock, which is indigenous to southern Nevada and complementary to the Red Rock area. The memorial consists of one large boulder with the dedication inscription and smaller surrounding boulders inscribed with the names of the 29 soldiers, airmen and Marines. More names can be added.

"This memorial will serve as a lasting tribute to the brave young men from our state who gave their lives for freedom," Randazzo, the memorial organizer and founder of "DefendingFreedom.net," a not-for-profit organization that raises money and supplies for causes supporting military members and their families. "We hope the public will join family members and other supporters in honoring these fallen heroes. It will mean a lot to their families especially during this holiday season."

The memorial will be dedicated Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. at the Red Rock Canyon Visitors Center. The dedication program for the Defending Freedom Soldier Memorial at Red Rock will include a color guard opening ceremony, remarks by family members, Sen. Jon Ensign and other elected officials and musical selections.

(From a DefendingFreedom.net news release.)

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