Honoring Fallen Texas Warriors, One Portrait At A Time
December 7, 2008
When the life of a Soldier is lost in combat, their untimely death leaves a huge gaping hole in the lives of their loved ones. Many of our fallen, are very young and have just began to experience the joys that life can bring. Recognizing this, Texas artist Phil Taylor has taken on the tremendous task of creating a portrait of fallen Texas heroes. His unique style of utilizing pastels, pencil and acrylic on canvas, creates a lasting memory of the fallen warrior for their loved ones. Using his talent, he is able to capture the personality of the fallen warrior. His hope is that by doing so, he can bring some solace and peace to the grieving families of these fallen Texas Heroes.
Phil began his labor of love, shortly after his youngest daughter attended prom in May 2007. Her prom date was killed in a motorcycle accident, just a few days short of graduating from high school. Knowing that his daughter was grieving the loss of this young man, and to honor him and his family in their time of loss, Phil painted throughout the night and the next day to create a portrait of the young man and have it ready to present to the family before his funeral. This was a life changing event for Phil.
Shortly afterwards, he contacted a friend of his, who’s brother was killed in Iraq the year before. He had attended the funeral and was able to witness the incredible way that Americans come together in an outpouring of patriotism and support for the family. Phil created a portrait of this young man, Captain Blake Russell for the family. The family’s reaction confirmed his belief that the portraits somehow were able to bring a small token of comfort and peace to the families. Consulting with his wife Lisa, Phil created the Texas Fallen Soldiers Project, as a way to provide this same gift of healing and love to as many families of Fallen Warriors, as possible.
On Friday, one of our readers, Haole Wahine, was able to attend the ceremony to present the family of SSG Christopher (Chris) Zimmerman, with a portrait of Chris that had been painted by Mr. Taylor. Present at the ceremony were Chris’s mother Faith, his father Michael Zimmerman and his sister. Mr. Taylor presented the portrait and had poster sized copies for Chris’s father and sister. Mr. Taylor took the time to autograph posters for anyone in the audience who wanted one.
I urge everyone to visit the Texas Fallen Soldiers Project and view photos of some of the portraits that Mr. Taylor has completed thus far, since the inception of this wonderful project. He does a tremendous job of capturing the essence and spirit of the Fallen Heroes that he has created portraits of. His work is simply amazing. If you’d like to make a donation, to ensure that Phil Taylor is able to continue this worthwhile project, to honor our Fallen Warriors, please follow this link and find out what you can do to ensure that Phil Taylor can continue to bring comfort to the families of the fallen.
I’d like to express my gratitude to Phil Taylor for his dedication to ensuring that the families of our Fallen Warriors know that their Hero is not and will not be forgotten.