Honoring Sacrifice Through Service
How do we honor the fallen? How do we translate our appreciation for their sacrifice in a meaningful way? Stone memorials stand in every park, yet we pass them blindly, accustomed to their presence and oblivious to what they represent. We, the men and women who created VRL and support this organization’s activities, were inspired by the sacrifice of our brothers in arms and wanted to create a memorial that would perpetuate their memories in a meaningful way. This concern led to the development of the Living Memorial Initiative. Instead of a bronze plaque on a street corner or a stone symbol in a neighborhood park, our memorial will exist at the entry hall of every location Project 360º veteran services are provided. It will act as a standing testimony of their sacrifice, reminding VRL members of their oath to serve those who served our city and nation. The Living Memorial will provide loved ones a peaceful place to reflect, and offer returning veterans help, guidance and encouragement to rebuild their lives. The entry point will be a Memorial Hall honoring the lives of the fallen. Every brother will be named, his deeds recorded, his image a reminder of our duty to honor his sacrifice with action. The Memorial Hall will lead to the office departments responsible for providing veteran employment and training opportunities, assistance with education and counseling services – all free of charge to American veterans and their families. This way, every Project 360º staff member and the veterans who seek their help, will pass the Hall and be reminded that our duty to our fellow veterans does not end when the tour does. To learn more about the people whose sacrifice inspire our service, please visit Requiem.
Veterans Rebuilding Life held the first of many fundraising events to support the Living Memorial Initiative on Veterans Day of 2014. Military personnel accompanied by their supportive family members, civil service members and a host of supporters from all over gathered at the New York City landmark: Donovan’s of Woodside, a traditional Irish tavern that has been a long-time supporter of VRL and the military community we serve. By collaborating with local business owners and community organizations, the project’s total cost will be significantly reduced. In-kind contributions in the form of building supplies, volunteer labor and rent reduction all support VRL’s fundraising efforts to make the Living Memorial a reality. The above image is a clear visual representation of the Memorial Wall leading to the Project 360º office locations where all veteran services will be provided. Professional staff will be on location, Monday through Friday, to provide the full range of veteran services offered under Project 360º. All VRL staff members responsible for providing these services are themselves veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and are therefore committed to help their fellow brothers and sisters.