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The Ultimate Sacrifice

The CSWS staff have conducted a great portion of the research needed to complete the list of names. We will continue to vet the names for inclusion and take the lead to create a website featuring stories and photos of all individuals honored in the memorial. This methodical research is time consuming, yet consequentially beneficial in paying homage to our fallen. There is still much work to be done, so if you would like to submit a name for consideration, please contact Cynthia Tinker (’00) at 865-974-0128 or ctinker@utk.edu.

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“Here is my biggest fear. Don’t let my son die twice. First on the worst day of my life and the second when you stop remembering and saying his name.” 

This quote, attributed to a Gold Star mother, answers why the University of Tennessee will have a memorial installed at the flagship campus in Knoxville.

The Center for the Study of War and Society (CSWS) has joined forces with the UT Army ROTC Alumni Council, in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to create an on-campus Armed Forces Memorial honoring the sacrifices of all former students, faculty, and staff since World War I.

“This memorial represents a tremendous opportunity to honor those UT staff, faculty, and students who served in the military and made the ultimate sacrifice for this country,” said Retired Brigadier General Geoff Freeman (’78), president of the UT Army ROTC Council. “It is most fitting that we establish this memorial so that their service is permanently recognized, and their names not forgotten.”

The University of Tennessee Armed Forces Memorial will enshrine the names of students, faculty, and staff from all UT campuses who died in the line of duty while in military service to the United States from World War I to the present, whether involved in direct combat, military operations or training, or as the result of domestic or international acts of terror. The memorial, which will be dedicated Memorial Day 2022, will be built on the Joe Johnson-John Ward Pedestrian Walkway in front of Fred Brown Hall. The marble sculpture will bear more than 350 brass plates engraved with the name of one our Tennessee fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms. 

“These names have faces and all the faces have stories,” said Lt. Colonel (Ret) Logan Hickman (’80), who will serve as the council’s project officer. “The memorial will ensure their sacrifices live for future generations of Volunteers.”

The spirit of a Volunteer is a bond that ties together the people of our great state with a legacy of service that past, present, and future generations strive to uphold. Throughout our history, the spirit of the Volunteer has defined us as Tennesseans and as Vols.

There is no greater example of that spirit than the men and women that know the meaning of sacrifice and service as members of our Armed Forces. Those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country have earned our respect as the finest examples of the Volunteer Spirit.