Field of Heroes: Soldiers remembered in Jackson Township memoria - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Field of Heroes: Soldiers remembered in Jackson Township memorial

Jackson Township's "Field of Heroes" honors all soldiers with 1,000 American flags. (Source: WOIO) Jackson Township's "Field of Heroes" honors all soldiers with 1,000 American flags. (Source: WOIO)
2015 marks nine years since the Warners lost their son, 19-year-old Heath, to a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Source: WOIO) 2015 marks nine years since the Warners lost their son, 19-year-old Heath, to a roadside bomb in Iraq. (Source: WOIO)
This year 22 military boots are lined up next to the American flags to symbolize soldiers who commit suicide. (Source: WOIO) This year 22 military boots are lined up next to the American flags to symbolize soldiers who commit suicide. (Source: WOIO)
JACKSON TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - This Memorial Day Weekend, military families hope you'll remember what the holiday weekend represents.

A sea of flags wave in the "Field of Heroes" in Jackson Township, where the Warner family marks nine years since they lost 19-year-old Private Heath Warner to a roadside bomb in Iraq.

"When the knock comes at the door and you see those casualty officers, your life is forever changed," said father Scott Warner.

Scott and Melissa Warner are making sure Heath's memory and the memory of other fallen soldiers live on.

"He was just a person that loved life, loved his family, loved his friends," Scott said.

"Somewhere along the line, we did something right. As he grew older, he wanted to fight for his country," said mother Melissa.

They brought banners with photographs of local fallen soldiers to stand beside 1,000 American flags lined up in front of the police station. They hope you'll pause along with them to honor each fallen soldier's memory.

"It's a lonely walk, so when we can bring members of a community together, it gives you strength, like wind beneath your wings," Melissa said.

The Warner family wants people to remember not just those who lost their lives in combat, but those who returned home and fought another battle.

Scott's world changed when he met another father of a fallen soldier. Except his son, Specialist Cody Moore, committed suicide after struggling with PTSD. He'll be honored this weekend at the Pvt. Heath Warner Memorial Run.

"Maybe this is a step forward for healing for him. That's my prayer and my hope," Scott said.

That's why this year he lined up 22 military boots along the American flags. Recent studies report 22 service members commit suicide every day.

"If they walk along there and they picture someone standing in these shoes, a row of 22, every day, that has such an impact," he said.

The Warners hope every step taken Saturday during the race is a time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, no matter how they died.

Pvt. Heath Warner Memorial Run kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday. Opening ceremonies start at 7:30 a.m. in Jackson Township.

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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