KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The University of Tennessee, Knoxville will construct a memorial honoring students, faculty and staff from all UT System campuses who died in the line of duty. University officials held a wreath-laying ceremony Thursday to signal the start of the project.

The UT Armed Forces Memorial will feature a 13-ton monolithic sculpture carved of native Tennessee marble along with a wall embedded with bronze medallions featuring the seal of each branch of the US Armed Forces.

Visitors will see the names of each of UT’s fallen heroes from World War I to the present. The Armed Forces Memorial will be located on the Joe Johnson–John Ward Pedestrian Walkway in front of Brown Hall. 

“This is one of the most heavily traversed areas of campus,” said Bethany Morris of UT Facilities Services, who is serving as project manager. “We felt it was important that the memorial be placed in an area of campus with high visibility. Thousands will pass this each day and will be reminded of the sacrifices so many of our own made to protect and preserve our freedoms.”

The Center for Study of War and Society in UT’s College of Arts is gathering information on those that will be honored and have already verified 369 names, CSWS Program Coordinator Cynthia Tinker said.

In addition to the physical memorial, the Army ROTC Alumni Council’s Armed Forces Memoria Committee hopes to build a website with photos and biographies of the individuals memorialized. The council plans to dedicate the new memorial in spring 2022.

“In the past we as a country have memorialized our veteran heroes in many ways. It is only fitting that we now take the time to single out those Vol veterans for making the ultimate sacrifice for our country, UT Knoxville ROTC Alumni Council President Geoff Freeman. “I am proud to be a part of this important endeavor and strongly encourage others to join with us to make this memorial a reality.”

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