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Tom Brandt

Sen. Tom Brandt

District 32

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Honoring Our Fallen Heroes
November 28th, 2022

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week enjoying time together with family, delicious food, and football. I was thankful for all our blessings and how much God has given us. In the spirit of giving thanks, I would like to spend this column honoring our fallen heroes. 

Earlier this month on Veteran’s Day, the Nebraska Capitol Commission and the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs celebrated the centennial of Armistice Day and of the laying of the cornerstone of the Nebraska State Capitol. In 1918, an armistice was signed to end combat in World War I, where hundreds of Nebraskans had fallen. One hundred years ago in 1922, thousands of Nebraskans gathered at the Capitol site for the cornerstone dedication, including veterans of the Civil War all the way up to the Great War, as World War I was known then. The memory of those who fell in the service of their country is engraved in the cornerstone. There are directions to view the cornerstone at the ground floor north door of the Capitol.

The Global War on Terror took the lives of many of our military servicemembers who fought to uphold our freedom. Right now in the State Capitol is the exhibit Remembering Our Fallen that brings awareness to fallen soldiers of the War on Terror. The memorial includes post-9/11 fallen heroes who called Nebraska home. Those who died in training, in combat zones and from PTSD later at home are all included, and more additions to Fallen can be made as family members provide information. I was moved viewing the Capitol exhibit and reflected on the freedoms I enjoy from the ultimate sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. Some of the Fallen from LD32 and surrounding communities include:

  • Michael P. Scusa of Crete, October 3, 2009 from an insurgent attack in Afghanistan
  • Benjamin J. Slaven of Plymouth, June 9, 2006 from a roadside bomb in Iraq
  • Darren D. Howe of Beatrice, November 3, 2005 from a roadside bomb in Iraq
  • Benjamin G. Prange of Hickman, July 24, 2014 from an IED in Afghanistan

To add a name or make a donation, you can go to Man does not die until he is forgotten. 

There is also a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as part of the exhibit at the Capitol. In Arlington Cemetery, there are Tombs of the Unknown Soldier for World Wars I and II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The tomb in the Capitol is a half-size replica, an above ground stone coffin with engravings and sculptures and is decorated with wreaths and flags. The tomb states: Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.

I strongly encourage you to come to the Capitol to view the exhibit, which is in the center of the ground floor until Friday December 9th, and spend some time remembering our fallen.

Sen. Tom Brandt

District 32
Room 1528
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2711
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