SPOKANE, Wash – They served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice, and now the six fallen Ferris High School graduates will be permanently honored at the school where they spent so much time.
"We had a rock which worked for a while, but we have a new name we have to add to it and so we thought with the new school we might as well make a new monument for them," leadership teacher Jennifer Walther explained.
The new memorial will be dedicated in September along with the new school and will stand four feet tall. The names of the six students will be engraved in the black granite along with an inscription and the Soldier's Cross.
The fallen date back to Ferris' inception more than 50 years ago and include Vietnam veterans – as well as the most recent student to lose his life fighting for our country, Darrel Morris.
The 2004 graduate lost his life in an IED blast in Baghdad on his second tour of duty in 2007. He was just 21 years old.
Although more than seven years have now passed since his death, the sting of his loss is still just as fresh as it ever was for his mother.
"It's your first thought in the morning when you wake up, you just want to curl up in a ball and pretend it's not true and then you have to get up and deal with the world," Kim Cole told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.
The project costs roughly $4,000 and while students have been running fundraisers they still need to come up with about half the money.
But to Morris's family – and others – the monument is priceless.
"We're happy to let the families know that these people meant everything to us," Walther added. "At Ferris we have a tradition of excellence and these people served their country in the finest way."