Big and Rich Honor Fallen Heroes
Big and Rich's sentimental hit song '8th of November' becomes part of history Friday, when it is used as part of the groundbreaking ceremony for the 173rd Airborne Memorial, located next to Fort Benning in Georgia. The memorial will include all the names of the Sky Soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
'8th of November' was co-written by the duo. It was inspired by a conversation they had with 173rd veteran Niles Harris back in 2002.
"He doesn't like a lot to be made about it," Big Kenny said of Harris, who suffered a shrapnel leg wound but returned to the battlefield after healing. "He says everybody would do the same thing."
Big and Rich participated in a benefit concert for the memorial that included performances by Cowboy Troy, John Anderson, Lyynyrd Skynyrd, and The Lost Trailers. The 2006 event raised a staggering $350,000 of the necessary $650,000 budget required to open the memorial. Construction is expected to be complete by next year.
"It's a really big deal, especially with (America) being in the situation like that right now," Big Kenny tells Nashville's Tennessean newspaper. "Every time I go down and visit one of these hospitals and see these young guys and gals who have put their selves, their bodies, on the line, I just can't imagine it. I know it means a lot to all of the families and all of the guys still in the Airborne."
The 173rd has seen 23 soldiers killed in the line of duty. For more information on the memorial, visit www.173rdairbornememorial.org.