Stunning Drone Video of Art Hill Shows Scope of U.S. Casualties Since 9/11

by

comment


The video Keath Hausher shot this week in Forest Park is an eye-opener — a bird's eye view of the breathtaking display now erected on Art Hill.



The installation contains a staggering 7,000 flags, each marked with a photo and dog tags naming a U.S. soldier killed in the line of duty since 9/11. A straight path up and down each row would stretch 10 miles.

And while plenty of photos capture the scene from the ground, Hausher got a different view — one that really puts things in perspective.



Hausher was in Forest Park this Tuesday even before 6 a.m. Volunteers with the non-profit he founded, St. Louis Military Officer Support Foundation, were among the fourteen teams erecting the flags for the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. Once the flags were planted with, well, military precision, the volunteers carefully draped the dog tags and photos, with each casualty in chronological order since September 11, 2001 up until just this week.

Then Hausher got out his drone. A DJI Inspire 1, it expertly captured a scene that isn't just a tribute to the military personnel who died. It's also a stunning visual of the loss of American life in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The experience on the ground is just as moving, Hausher says. "If you walk down and the wind is blowing, you hear the dog tags clinking on the metal poles," he says. "It seems very tranquil, until you realize each one represents a person. It's tough to a keep a dry eye."

Hausher's organization provides free training for service members and those about to enter the service, with courses in everything from fitness to marksmanship. As a result, he's gotten to know many kids heading to West Point, and older service members too.

The nonprofit is one of four charities benefiting from the display on Art Hill. It's organized by America's Heartland Remembers, which sponsored similar installations for the fifth and tenth anniversary of the attacks. But this is the biggest, by far — instead of honoring those killed on 9/11, it includes more than twice as many flags to honor those killed in the U.S. subsequent military interventions.

"This means more to me personally," Hausher acknowledges. "These are people who signed up with the intent of going into harm's way. They knew what the risks were, but they signed up."

The flags will be on display on Art Hill through Sunday.

The memorial contains a dog tag and photo of each soldier killed in the War on Terror. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • The memorial contains a dog tag and photo of each soldier killed in the War on Terror.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.