For 900 consecutive weeks, veterans have gathered at Lynchburg Monument Terrace

LYNCHBURG, Va. – On Friday military veterans waved to drivers as car horns honked in their support.

For 900 weeks in a row, Lynchburg area veterans have gathered at Monument Terrace.

But in the midst of the noise there’s an unbreakable bond.

On a 6-foot memorial are more than 7,000 names engraved and that’s 7,000 plus people who died in war after 9/11/2001.

Finding a familiar name could bring you to tears like a veteran holding onto his service dog.

But for 12-year-old Leland Moore this moment is special for him and his stepdad Joseph Dartey.

Leland’s principal let him out of school today to come see the 28-foot-long "Dog Tag" flag memorial.
It’s the first time the traveling memorial is in Lynchburg.

“We really just want to support the veterans that come down here and we hope all the troops that are overseas come back safely,” Leland said.

Dartey served in the military for 24 years. He bought his stepson this Army uniform for Christmas.

“I hope to go off into the military to pay off my college. I want to be a history teacher,” Leland said.

“The branch and service he wants to go to is totally up to him. I’m not going to push any service branch because they’re all great,” Dartey said.

Dartey said, if there’s one lesson he wants his son to remember while looking at the memorial on Friday it’s that freedom is not free.

“The ultimate sacrifices are paid and these 7,000 plus dog tags here shows 7,000 plus people paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and they’re still giving today,” Dartey said.