The stone monuments to Loudouners who have died in battle were illuminated for the first time at a ceremony Friday, Sept. 6.
“I invite you, sometime, in the calm of the day, in the calm of your life, to think, that we live in a world of turmoil and trouble and tribulation,” said retired Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge and Loudoun County War Memorials Trust Fund Chairman Thomas Horne. “Maybe just sit on one of those benches, watch the sun set slowly in the west, see the long shadows gather underneath those monuments, think about the people who gave their lives.”
The memorials honor veterans of both world wars, the Korean war, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan who were killed in action. Altogether, there are 118 names on the memorials. They are now illuminated at night for the first time.
One of the people who helped celebrate the occasion had an especially personal connection both to the names on the monuments and the monuments themselves. Ellis Grayson’s brother, Welby Herbert Grayson III, is on the Vietnam memorial, and her family was there when that monument was unveiled.
She said with the monuments lit up at night, she now feels there is a 24/7 honor and recognition for Loudoun’s fallen soldiers, airmen, Marines, and sailors.
“I’ve made visits here before,” Grayson said after seeing her brother’s name lit up for the first time. “I normally come for Veterans Day, and I come during the day and I set a rose there in honor of the people that have gotten killed. And at nighttime, this is peaceful. I just feel like it’s an even bigger honor.”
In addition to lighting the monuments, the War Memorials Trust Fund and Pete Coppolino are compiling short biographies of the people memorialized on the monuments.