Reporters and camera crews for the nationally televised NBC News were in Edmonds early Tuesday morning to visit the Fallen Heroes Project’s Michael Reagan in his studio and see the new Edmonds Veterans Plaza.
The visit kicked off with the NBC crew accompanying Reagan on his daily visit to the Veterans Plaza. Upon arriving Reagan, a Vietnam veteran, pointed out the memorial paving tile dedicated to a fellow soldier who died in his arms. He explained how this experience lit the fire that inspired Reagan to begin drawing portraits of military service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, which eventually grew into the Fallen Heroes Project.
Reagan’s personal experience in combat and subsequent inspiration to channel his considerable artistic talent into memorializing those who lost their lives in action have made the Veterans Plaza sacred ground to Reagan. “Our ghosts are here,” he said. “Every time I come here I talk with my friends; we laugh, we cry and I always remind them that they’ll never be forgotten.”
The crews then retired to Reagan’s studio to watch the artist work on his current portrait of fallen U.S. Marine Donald May Jr., who died in Iraq during convoy operations when his tank plunged off a cliff into the Euphrates River in 2003.
“Donald was killed before he was able to see his son Will,” said Reagan. “So I am drawing them together.”
While there’s no official word on the broadcast date yet, according to NBC’s Jay Blackburn it would likely be shown “within the next few weeks.”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel