We all too often read the names of fallen heroes and perhaps briefly view a photograph of someone in a newspaper or on the news that has lost his or her life while defending our freedom. But our souls and our spirits cannot fully fathom the loss of that individual – that is something that only the family and friends of each fallen hero can truly experience.
Michael G. Reagan is a talented artist who feels the loss of these fallen heroes deeply; he lives each day in a spirit of thankfulness for those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. In so doing, he has found a way to show honor and respect to the fallen heroes while also providing a measure of healing and peace to their families and loved ones.
Reagan draws free portraits of fallen heroes. According to the Fallen Heroes Project website, he has to date created and sent to families more than 2,200 portraits of fallen heroes, and the number swells with each passing day.
You learn something about Michael Reagan, the man, on the Fallen Heroes Project website when you read the letter on the “about the artist” page. The writer of the letter notes that Reagan “has unlimited love and respect for the soldiers he draws, and he feels very deeply the tragedy of their loss and the depth of emotion that surrounds his work.”
If you want to personally draw closer to these fallen heroes and their families, visit the “posters” page. Download the posters and scroll through the individual portraits.
It is beautifully stated on the website “posters” page: “Similar to the impact of listing each individual name on the Vietnam Memorial, these posters show the human cost of war on a large scale. Each beautifully drawn image of these wonderful men and women is a loss that is immeasurable, especially for each family.When viewed together, the posters represent a loss that is incalculable for each country represented.”
The Fallen Heroes project was featured on the cover of the October, 2010 issue of VFW magazine. The story about the Project that is inside the magazine begins on page 14.
Here are some links to help you navigate the Fallen Heroes Project website:
To view individual portraits: (Click on the fallen hero’s name below their portrait to access their memorial page.)
U.S. gallery of portraits
British gallery of portraits
Canadian gallery of portraits
To request a portrait
To read letters from families
It seems impossible to visit the Fallen Heroes Project website and leave unchanged. Something is deposited in the spirit when you view these portraits – a thankfulness and humility that wasn’t there before as you realize that each of the individuals that are so lovingly portrayed gave his or her life to defend our freedom.
At the top of the website you will find these words: “It’s all about Love and Respect; we will never forget!”
Thank you, Michael G. Reagan, for your beautifully-drawn portraits that are helping the families in such a tangible way, and that are helping all of to remember an important truth – “we must never forget!”
For related articles by R.C. Johnson:
Giving Healing and Self-Esteem Back to Wounded Veterans
Severely Injured Military Heroes Are Helped by “Homes for Our Troops”
Helping American Heroes Stay Connected with Their Loved Ones
American Military Heroes: How Americans Are Giving Back
Supporting “Any Soldier”: What to Send; How to Send
Soldiers’ Angels: Adopt a Soldier, Join a Team, or Assist a Project
Disabled Veterans: Marine Completes Running Challenge for Those Unable to Run
Our Veterans: Giving Them Honor This Veterans Day
Giving Thanks for Armed Services Personnel