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Marine Cpl. Phillip D. McGeath
Died January 18, 2012 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom
25, Glendale, Ariz..; assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.; died Jan. 18 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.
Exhibit honors Arizonans killed in Iraq, Afghanistan
By Beth Duckett
The Arizona Republic
An exhibit honoring Arizona’s fallen troops will make its debut at the state Capitol today before traveling to Scottsdale Stadium and the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University library in Prescott.
“Remembering Our Fallen” pays tribute to the more than 130 troops from Arizona who have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since Sept. 11, 2001.
The exhibit, which opens at 1p.m., honors the military members in a sprawling display of photos, both military professional and touchingly personal.
Founders Bill and Evonne Williams of Omaha, Neb., have launched similar exhibits in four other states.
In November 2010, the Williamses unveiled their first exhibit honoring Nebraska’s fallen after reading a story in a local newspaper about a father’s grief years after his son died in Iraq.
“All these families feel the same,” said Bill Williams. “They’re so concerned that their loved ones are going to be forgotten.”
Williams said the couple are trying to spread the word to other communities, which can host the exhibit for an $800 fee.
The most recent Arizona man to die in the war was Cpl. Phillip D. McGeath, a 25-year-old Marine from Glendale who died Jan. 18 in Helmand province in Afghanistan. McGeath’s photo will be featured next to the exhibit, Williams said.
For many troops, their professional photos are juxtaposed with smiling snapshots from childhood, family gatherings and rigid school poses.
“It brings out their personality,” Williams said.
Goldie Murphy of Mesa plans on attending the unveiling. Five years ago was the last time she saw her son, Chief Warrant Officer Hershel “Dan” McCants Jr., who died Feb. 18, 2007, in Afghanistan when the helicopter he was riding in crashed.
“He was home for a week, and he left for Afghanistan. He was killed three weeks after,” Murphy said. “It’s a tough week. This memorial couldn’t have happened at a better time for me and my family.”