Gone but not forgotten, that was the theme before Rockford Lutheran's varsity football game. The school honored service members who died while fighting for our freedom and safety at a dog tag ceremony. Players wore tags with the names of a fallen hero on them.
Young men, representing other local men who are no longer with us. Reminding mothers, fathers, wives, fiances, and children, that their family members may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.
Grant Osborne, Rockford Lutheran Linebacker proudly displayed his dog tag, saying, "I have Alec Catherwood, Lance Corporal of the U.S. Marine Corps from Byron, Illinois."
Gretchen Catherwood, the mother of man on Osborne's tag, says tonight means the world to her. "As a matter of fact, the last time I was at this field, Alec was playing on the field. So it's a really cool thing, cause I feel like he's back on the field. and he would have loved that.
Players headed to the 50 yard line and presented family members with a rose to honor the fallen.
This night also falls very near a day Gretchen Catherwood won't soon forget. "Two years this Sunday, yeah, October 14th 2010."
That's the day her son was killed in Afghanistan.
Some of those lost were just a few years older than these players whey they died.
"It's just a great honor to wear their dog tag, it kind of separates you, not separates you, But holds you to a higher standard on the team," said Osborne.
Gretchen Catherwood says she and other families hope Lutheran High School hosts this ceremony again next year. But of course,she wishes they did not have to.