BELFAST — Belfast resident Vivian Fuller is almost done creating a tribute to the 13 soldiers killed in Kabul Aug. 26 while the United States was completing its military pullout from Afghanistan. She hopes to place it somewhere in town so people are reminded of their sacrifice.

She asked for approval from the City Council Sept. 7 to place it in front of the Post Office but City Manager Erin Herbig said city staff thought there was not enough room there. She suggested that it might be better placed near the VFW Randall Collins Post 3108’s Chair of Honor at the corner of Route 1 and Footbridge Road.

Fuller is creating a 4-foot-by-4-foot prop with the 13 service members’ photos, names, ranks, where they came from and military status.

Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole Gee, Staff Sgt. Darin Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Cpl. Daegan Page, Cpl. Humberto Sanchez, Lance Cpl. David Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan Merola, Lance Cpl. Kareem Nikoui, Navy Corpsman Maxton Soviak and Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, all lost their lives during a terrorist attack outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul Aug. 26, along with dozens of Afghans.

Fuller said she asked to place the memorial in front of the Post Office so more people would see it driving by and be reminded of the soldiers’ sacrifice. She is a veteran of the active Guard Reserve and though she never saw combat herself, she has lost friends to conflicts in the Middle East.

While he said he respects her request, Councilor Neal Harkness took issue with only recognizing the 13 military members who died recently, rather than recognizing all of the people who died during the entire war. “I just, I’m troubled by that. I think that all the members of the service who gave their lives over there should be honored and not just picking those that have been recently, come more to mind,” he said.

Fuller recognizes that there were many people, both U.S. military members and Afghans, who died in the 20-year conflict, but said but it is not possible to show everybody. Because these deaths were recent and at a time when all military personnel were close to returning home after two decades of military presence in the country, they are good representatives for all lives lost during the entire war.

She does not want to minimize the deaths of other military members and Afghans during the conflict, saying, “I would love to be able to do it for everybody.” She also thinks the recognition will help the grieving military members’ families.

“Being a veteran myself, I know how much it would mean to … those Gold Star families that have lost their loved ones. It would thrill their hearts to know that their children are being remembered,” she said. “So whatever any individual can do, in my opinion, is a good thing”

The prop will be a temporary fixture that will probably be taken down sometime this winter, Fuller said. She thinks it is more likely to be vandalized on the east side of the Armistice Bridge, but said she would abide by the council’s wishes.

Harkness thinks it is too soon to have a memorial recognizing the 13 soldiers killed in Kabul Aug. 26. “To me, this is almost too raw, too recent and too much a part of the end of a 20-year effort,” he said. He suggested that the council create a monuments committee composed of community veterans groups and stakeholders. Fuller supports the idea.

She is glad she went before the council with the request, because it helped councilors realize that there are people in the community who wish to see more recognition for military members who died in conflict in all U.S. wars.

“It’s kind of fresh in our mind that young people are still dying for our freedoms,” Fuller said. “I have the right to ask for the council’s approval because I have the freedom to do that, and it’s because of our soldiers that have given their lives that we have those freedoms. So I just really think they should be remembered.”