It was a solemn homecoming at Troy's La Salle Institute as the school unveiled a monument honoring its fallen soldiers. YNN's Geoff Redick reports.
TROY, N.Y. -- Late September is the time of year when homecoming celebrations bring happy crowds flocking to high schools across the country.
At the La Salle Institute in Troy, however, Sunday of homecoming weekend was marked with solemn observance and reflection. The all boys private school held a ceremony to unveil a brand new stone monument near its main entrance. Because La Salle is a school steeped in military tradition, the monument bears the names of each alumnus who has gone on to the armed services and subsequently died in the line of duty.
"It remembers people who have been a special part of our community, the La Salle community," said school principal Brother Carl Malacalza. "But more importantly, think of these guys. Whatever their home base was, whatever their desires were, whatever their dreams were, they forwent all of those things, so that they could defend our country. So part of it is to remind our students of the sacrifices that so many people have made for them."
But for some in attendance Sunday, the monument serves as a very real and tangible connection to loved ones since gone.
"It's comforting. It's a place where you can find peace," said Marion Landau.
Marion Landau's son, Frank, was a 2005 graduate of La Salle Institute ansserved with the Army in Iraq and died suddenly while still enlisted.
"The empathy that went behind the building of the monument, it means a great deal to the families of those names on the monument," said Landau. "It's more than just a name on a stone."
The monument was funded and constructed almost entirely through donations from alumni and the community.