More Than A Name On A Wall

Sergeant Brent Maher is the latest local casualty in the war on terror.

"Taps always gets me now," Brenna said. "After the funeral, that's always something that makes it a little difficult.

"That (the unveiling) was a little harder than I thought it would be. I don't know just every time I see it it's just another indication that he really is gone. Our main thought is to have Brent remembered and for people to know who he was."

This is more than a name on a wall. It is a place of honor and reverence, a tribute to one of our own with a reminder that his memory should never fade from our consciousness.

"Time will pass, our pains will lessen," Major Bill Backus of the Iowa National Guard told a crowd of an estimated 100 people. "Yet, the memory of Sgt. Maher will last forever." His sacrifice will never be taken away and our collective gratitude can never be fully repaid.

"Although he is gone now, he left behind a legacy and inheritance of freedom for you me and generations to come."

Maher's legacy also lives on through Brenna's memories, his spirit in the faces of their three children. Brenna carries constant reminders of her husband close to her heart.

"This is Brent's wedding ring and this is a necklace he had made for me it says 'army wife' and 'my true love' and it's got a couple of pictures of us," she said.

For Brenna Maher, taps also evokes a slightly different emotion.
"It helps us remember."

Brent Maher is home now. He occupies a place of eternal honor on a hallowed granite wall.

He is a gift from a family who shares their most prized possession with the rest of us.

Sgt. Maher's unit is due to return to the states in a few weeks.

Brenna said she plans to be there to welcome back friends and comrades for the ceremony, which will be held in Shenandoah, Iowa.


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