More wall panels were added to this year's Freedom's Heroes War on Terror Memorial at Calvary Christian Center in Yuba City — more names of U.S. military personnel who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq this past year.
"I think there should not be that many names on the panels," Airman First Class Virak Dara, 25, said after walking through the display on Monday. "But it's something we've got to do."
"It's overwhelming to stop at each panel and see how many (names) there are," added Staff Sgt. Wayne Byrd, 28.
The servicemen had walked through the display before taking their posts as volunteers at the site.
Both have served in the current wars, Dara recently returning from six months in Afghanistan and Byrd deployed to Iraq twice.
With 17 panels containing 5,414 names, the memorial is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Monday, Memorial Day, at 2620 Colusa Highway.
The display includes water falling from two tall black blocks representing the New York City Twin Towers attacked on Sept. 11, 2001; 50 American flags behind the panels; and another flag at half-mast in front of the panels.
"Some people may seen this as a nice promotion for the church," said volunteer Walt Gray, 70, of Yuba City. "I see it as a sacred place. I hope it would command reverence."
An opening ceremony for the memorial was held Sunday. The closing ceremony is set at 3 p.m. Monday.
Army veteran Alen R. Bates, 62, of Yuba City was visiting the memorial Monday afternoon to obtain the rubbing of a name for his nephew currently serving in the Army in Afghanistan.
"I think people really need to know about the sacrifices made for freedom," Bates said. "You just can't forget."
In addition to the memorial, the Christian Center is hosting "A Grateful Nation Remembers" Memorial Day services at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday and at noon Monday. Admission is free to both the memorial and the services.
The site is also hosting a free medical clinic for veterans and their families from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and a USO Show at 7 p.m. Sunday.