For many of us, the toll of war is something we only think about on Memorial Day, or Veteran's Day, or when we hear about the death of a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan.  But, fallen soldiers aren't just names on a wall, or represented by statues in Washington, D.C.  They are actual people, and a group of artists an ocean away, want to show us all what the toll of war really looks like.

'The Fallen' is a tribute to the 9 thousand Allied and German troops who were killed on the beach of Normandy during D-Day, June 4, 1944.  Artists Jaime Wardley and Andy Moss came up with the idea to show people what happens, "when peace is not present".

Each of the 9 thousand soldiers was represented by a figure stenciled in the sand by a team of over 500 people, some of whom said they wanted to help with the project because they had lost loved ones in World War II, or in Afghanistan.

WWII Dead Honored With 'The Fallen' Art Project

The figures were at the mercy of the tides, each eventually being washed away.  The image of all those figures is heartbreaking.  One of the artists said it was 'incredibly moving when the last one disappeared just a few hours after the volunteers finished placing them on the beach.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that we still have troops fighting, and dying, every day.  It's even easier to forget those who died so long ago.  But 'The Fallen' shows us all exactly what it means to leave your home, go to a foreign land, fight, and die.

To those soldiers who gave their lives for us so long ago, and to those who are still fighting for us now, we thank you for your willingness to leave your loved ones behind, not knowing if you'll be coming home, or if you'll be a figure in the sand in a place where peace was not present.

God bless you all.  God bless America.

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