AUBURN — The names and faces of over 300 men and women from New York state were shown on a display, the military flags behind it pierced by sunlight, at Cayuga Community College Thursday.
The Fallen Stars Memorial, which acknowledges men and women from the state who were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was set up in the main hallway of the Auburn campus on Tuesday.
A star is also included for each person, along with rank, hometown and branch of service. Flags from every division in the armed forces are included, along with flags acknowledging the Sept. 11 attacks on both ends of the display. The mural, which was shown at the college's Fulton campus last year, is set up by the Herkimer County Hunger Coalition. The last day for the display on the Auburn campus will be Monday.
Emily Cameron, the assistant director of community education and workforce development for the college, said she has seen people go by the project and then stop to consider it.
"I can tell they're thinking about it and taking a moment to see what it's all about," Cameron said.
Jackie Darquea, assistant director of financial aid for the Auburn campus and a member of a veterans advisory group for the campus, said she believes seeing the faces and hometowns of the fallen soldiers — some of them the same ages as some of the students — is powerful. She said she believes it is critical to support veterans.
Theresa Rogalski, who also works in the Auburn campus's financial aid office, said she always notices the display when she walks by it.
"Every time I walk by this, it kind of stops me in my tracks," Rogalski said.