Inside the Gates: New memorial honors more than just those who died in combat
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Military In Lasting Tribute memorial is a virtual memorial for U.S. military members who are not featured on any other war memorials, and contains the names and the faces of those who died on active duty from 1985 until present day.
What makes this memorial different is is the only Department of Defense memorial that honors service members who died during peacetime, and also pays tribute those who died while they honorably served. Deborah Skillman directs the Office of Casualty, Mortuary Affairs and Military Funeral Honors and serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, as well as overseeing the virtual memorial.
“It puts that face to the name we hear in the press, but, it’s a way for us to remember, honor, and also to pay tribute to the family members. They’ve sacrificed so much,” Skillman said.
The online memorial has stood since the end of 2021 when the Department of Defense unveiled it. Discussions for it started that spring, according to Skillman.
“We were only expecting about 20 family members to submit their service members to this site,”
Skillman said around 300 names got submitted by the time the memorial went online, but that it now contains the names of more than 700 service members.
“Those records, unfortunately, are all at the National Archives and we do not have them electronically,” Skillman said.
However, efforts continue to obtain additional information so that all who honorably served can receive their place in the Military In Lasting Tribute memorial.
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