Days before the nation marks Memorial Day, Miami International Airport unveiled a Wall of Honor memorial featuring the etched names of the 118 South Florida members of the military who died while serving in operations supporting the global war on terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001.
Near the center of the bustling airport in Concourse D, the sobering granite monument is three-sided, 51-feet long and includes the names of the fallen inscribed into the stone. The second wall includes an 18-minute film tribute and the third wall displays the seals of the five U.S. military branches.
The memorial, years in the making, was unveiled in an emotional ceremony Thursday with about 50 family members of those who served, along with government, airport and military officials. It stands as a permanent reminder of the human toll of war and the cost of freedom.
“This is such an honor to see my son’s name and the other fallen soldiers,” said Kim Metcalf, whose son, Army PFC Michael J. Metcalf, 22, of Boynton Beach, was killed in Afghanistan in 2012. “People walking past this wall will be able to see the names of those that gave the ultimate sacrifice.”