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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fallen Hero Exhibit Closes After Extended Run

After an extended two-year run, the Faces of the Fallen exhibit, which features 1,139 portraits of fallen service members, will close Sunday.

The portraits, painted by 200 professional artists from across the country, adorned the walls of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Va., and will be sent home to the families of the troops to serve as a lasting tribute to their service.

Family members, military leaders and visitors gathered yesterday to pay tribute to those whose memories are honored and to thank those who made the exhibit possible.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the day a chance to remember that "for some 232 years, incredible men and women have volunteered to serve our nation, all knowing the dangers involved, some giving their lives."

General Pace said the exhibit reminds him of a photo he keeps on his desk of Marine Lance Cpl. Guido Farinaro, the first Marine under his command to die in Vietnam.

"I know how much his picture means to me; I know how much these portraits mean to the families," he said.

Faces of the Fallen opened in March 2005, and the exhibit has welcomed more than 650,000 visitors since. The portraits, produced for free by the artists, honor the memories of the first 1,319 service members to die in Iraq and Afghanistan.

General Pace said he hopes the exhibit has demonstrated that the nation cares, and will always care, about the sacrifices they have made.

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