Fort Stewart’s Warriors Walk, considered by many to be the post’s most sacred ground, is running out of space.
The war memorial’s sidewalks are lined with eastern redbud trees to honor each 3rd ID soldier who has died serving in Iraq. Granite stones are engraved with soldiers’ names.
With casualties for the 3rd Infantry Division continuing to grow in Iraq, base officials are now preparing expansion plans for the memorial.
Garrison director of public works Michael Biering recently told USA Today when the memorial was originally designed about four years ago, the assumption was “there wouldn’t be but two sidewalks’ worth of trees.”
During an interview with the Courier this past week, he said the number of possible casualties was not taken into account as part of the memorial’s blueprint.
“It was never designed around a certain number,” Biering said.
The garrison director, who reportedly keeps sketches for at least four additional sidewalks in his office, did not give details on how or when expansions to Warriors Walk would begin, but reiterated the division’s commitment to honoring soldiers who have died in battle.
“Warriors Walk is very, very important to us,” Biering said. “We will continue to memorialize our soldiers appropriately throughout this long war.”
Eight trees have been added to Warriors Walk since the start of 2007, bringing the total number of eastern redbuds on the site to 326.
An exact number for how many additional trees can be added to the memorial under the current design was not given, but Biering told USA Today it will be full in about two months.