Conway High students honor the sacrifice of more than 40 soldiers

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - This Memorial Day weekend, students and teachers at Conway High School are remembering fallen soldiers.

CHS's "Hall of Heroes," which remembers the lives of more than 40 soldiers who graduated from Conway High and Whittemore High schools, is open to both students and the community.

Tracey Hall, a teacher at Conway High, helped start the project four years ago after her journalism students wanted to do a feature story on Memorial Day.

In order to do so, she wanted her students to understand what Memorial Day was all about.

Since then, students have researched dozens of fallen heroes who graduated from both Conway High and Whittemore High schools, trying to put a face to the name of each soldier.

From World War II to the war in Afghanistan, each plaque has a picture from the soldier's senior year, along with their military picture and military accomplishments.

"Whenever the family members come through and they recognize a name, they're able to bring us more stories and pictures, giving us a truer picture of who these soldiers were," said Hall.

On Thursday, the father of one of the fallen soldiers attended the exhibit.

His son, Staff Sgt. Ronald Phillips, a 1994 graduate of Conway High School, lost his life in 2008 while serving in Iraq. He was only 33 years old.

Hall was able to meet Phillips' father. Full of emotion, the two were able to share stories remembering each fallen soldier.

Hall says it's moments like this that are both heartbreaking and encouraging.

"I want the students to have a love and passion, understanding and appreciation for what the (soldiers) did," Hall said.

The "Hall of Heroes" is free and open to the public. It is available Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Conway High School.

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