A new memorial is sitting atop the Town Center Steps in Federal Way, honoring service members from all branches of the military.
“Let us never fail to recognize the spirit of a volunteer, that spirit that sees a challenge and rises to meet it, no matter the cost,” said Mayor Jim Ferrell at the Sept. 11 dedication event.
The memorial site features six bronze plaques with the seal of each military branch, an engraved stone, a remembrance bench and hand-carved stone for service members who are considered Prisoners of War (POW) or Missing in Action (MIA).
Saturday morning’s event welcomed over 100 community members, service members, elected officials and Federal Way leaders. From its location near the Performing Arts and Event Center, the memorial site overlooks downtown Federal Way.
“I’ve always wanted to do something military-related for my Eagle Scout project,” said Jack Garfield, 17, of Boy Scouts Troop #330. Jack spearheaded the idea and fundraising for the remembrance bench, in addition to carving and painting the tribute stone for POW-MIA service members.
“A lot of people really like the idea of who I’m thinking of for this project,” he said. As a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) member at Todd Beamer High School, Jack conducted a POW-MIA ceremony in high school and admired the story behind the selfless servants.
A small message on the bench under the flagpole reads “Dedicated to all the POW-MIA that could not return to fill their seat.”
The crowd stood in silence as two Federal Way Police Honor Guard members rose the flag above the city on Sept. 11.
“In the United States of America, we must never forget that there is much more that unites us than will ever divide us,” Ferrell said.
“The men and women who we dedicate this monument to remember that every day. No matter their race or creed, orientation or faith, when they wear the uniform of our country, they do so with pride, unified in the mission before them.”