We began engraving the
names of our Heroes who gave their lives in The Wars On
Terrorism on August 7, 2012. We have been asked several
times how this happens. Some have asked if the wall
would be removed and taken to a shop to have the
engraving done. We thought that you may like to see the
process for engraving the wall.
The wall is not removed.
The engraving, or more accurately, the sand blasting is
done with the wall in place.
The first step in the process is the research. We
have to make sure all of the information is accurate
and is researched and verified using several
sources. The government lists our Heroes based on
"Home Of Record". This can sometimes be misleading.
If one of our young men or women change their "Home
Of Record" prior to deployment they may be listed as
being from another state even though they were born
and raised in Ohio. We wanted to make sure all of
Ohio's Heroes were included regardless of their
"Home Of Record". Once the research is complete a
comprehensive list of names is developed.
The names are then transferred to a plotter, or a
printer with blades. The plotter cuts the names into
a thin rubber material that will protect the wall
from the sand that is used in the sand blasting
- SET-UP: The
wall must be cleaned and then the rubber template is
applied to the wall using an adhesive. All of the
rubber templates must be precisely aligned to ensure
all of the lettering and artwork is uniform.
The computer and plotter cuts all of the lettering
but it does not remove the material that allows the
wall to be sand blasted. This must be done by hand.
Each letter must be precisely removed one letter at
a time. This is a very time consuming task and great
care must be taken to make sure all of the letters
appear correctly in the final sand blasting. One
mistake can ruin an entire panel as there is no way
to replace the granite. There is no room for errors.
The "plucking" process is also the last time for any
mistakes to be caught.
Once the plucking is complete, several people will
read over the templates on the wall and compare them
to our researched list to ensure accuracy. Only
after this step is complete will the actual
Each letter must then be sand-blasted into the
granite. High-pressure air is mixed with sand and
sprayed into the templates. The rubber template
prevents sand from hitting the wall and the
"plucked" areas of the template allow the sand to
engrave the names of our Heroes. This is the most
time consuming part of the project. Protective
clothing must be worn and is physically demanding to
do in the heat.
Once the sand blasting is complete we have to
clean-up. All of the templates must be removed from
the wall, all of the adhesive cleaned from the wall
and 100s or 1000s of pounds of sand and granite must
be removed from the walkway.
The Rubber Template In Place
Letters Being "Plucked" From The
Names Being Sand-Blasted