The ninth annual Fallen Soldiers March will be Aug. 16 in Lebanon. Not only does this mark the ninth Fallen Soldier March since Jim Williams started the event, but it is also the final Fallen Soldier March that Williams plans to hold.
Williams began the march as the sole participant nearly a decade ago after he returned from Iraq. After realizing lives continued to go on without recognizing soldiers fighting for the U.S. across the globe, Williams set out to remind the citizens of Lebanon of soldiers’ sacrifices.
Carrying an American flag, Williams set out to walk nine miles across Lebanon in remembrance of the first nine soldiers from Tennessee killed.
In following years, the number of walkers increased from one to 40 to 250 participants in the most recent years. After being recognized nationwide, others began organizing fallen soldier marches in states, such as Texas, California and Missouri. In Lebanon, fundraising efforts to support soldiers and their families have paralled the march, but this year no donations will be accepted. Williams hopes the focus this final year will be on remembrance.
This year, the march is open to anyone, and it begins at the Lebanon Armory and traverses nine miles to its end at the Lebanon Fairgrounds.
Aug. 16 coincides with the date of the opening day of the Wilson County Fair, meaning those who participate will walk by the busy event. Everyone is welcome to the free event. Even those who just wish to share stories and meet veterans and their supporters without participating in the march are encouraged to come.
The official meeting time for the event is 3 p.m., with the march beginning at 4 p.m. Those who wish to participate are encouraged to arrive at the Lebanon Armory before 3 p.m. to share old war stories and fellowship together.