Saturday, 22 October 2005 11:57

A Tribute to Fallen Heroes Featured

This is a note that I received from Drake Kirkham and his wife, I thought it would be appropriate to share it with everyone, please read on - Neal:

As you know, my nephew, Lance Corporal Dustin Birch, was killed in Iraq on June 9th, 2005. The Kirkham's & the Birch's are decorating and donating a tree in honor of not only Dustin, but all 588 of the Marine's who have fallen in Iraq. The tree is entitled, "Semper Fi" which is latin for "Always Faithful" - the Marine's motto.


The tree will be on display for the festival (Nov. 30-Dec. 3)and auctioned off (stall M-6 at South Towne Expo Center)and the FULL DONATIONS will go to the Primary Children's Hospital here in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Trees of the caliber like the one we're doing have brought in sums of up to $15,000. All of which goes directly to the hospital.

ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE as Primary Children's Hospital is a registered non-profit organization (a receipt will be sent out for every donation received).

Please mail donations to:
Fallen Heroes/The Dustin Birch Memorial Fund
1905 West 4700 South, #345
Salt Lake City, Utah 84118-1105

Tree description:

The tree will be decorated with miniature (4") Dress Blue Uniforms, Covers (hats), 3" swords, gloves, and 3" stars with the names of the men and women who have given their lives for their country, their families, and their God. We will also have a full size mannequin in Dress Blues, saluting next to the tree and inside of one of the 8" star ornaments, a 5" television screen with a Marine Valor DVD playing. Also included are dozens of teddy bears in dress blue uniforms (uniforms are from Build-A-Bear) and a trunk with a parchment scroll stating, "And Some Gave All" written across the top with our loved ones names listed below, along with real medals including the Purple Heart and the War of Terrorism Award.  The tree will be lit with red, white, and blue lights and be draped in royal blue ribbon with gold trim.  Gift boxes
wrapped in Marine themed paper will be under the tree with large tags listing the gifts the Marine's have given (various country's freedom, etc) through the years (Montezuma, Iwo Jima, Iraq, etc).  There will also be a bugle with the sheet music of Taps set beside it and an 8 x 10 matted and professionally framed photograph of Dustin with the following poem (written by his uncle, Dave Trebas) inscribed on it:

A Soldier's Wish

We'll hang our flags until we're dead,
but never will we hang our heads
Although we might just shed - a tear or two
We'd rather live as those still free,
defending Lady Liberty
Than hide in fear as evil cowards do.
But if we're called to take our place,
to defend Freedom's shining grace;
We'll gladly do the things that we must do.
Then above all else, one thing be taught
to those whose freedom our lives have bought,
That their hearts must not just beat,
But bleed like ours...Red, White & Blue.

Estimated cost is $3,000.

Come support the Festival, see this beautiful tribute of the Semper Fi tree - knowing that you helped it happen.  Thank you - and Semper Fi.

-Paulette, Drake, Aubrey & Quinn

Please forward this to anyone you know who would like to do something to support the troops but they don't know what to do.  Even just skipping one fast food meal - that money will make a difference. Hundreds of thousands of people will see this tree before the Festival closes - and, in this way, we hope to bring the sacrifices home. Though we will go on - WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

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