The four silent soldiers are almost ready to ship out.
There are final inspections and details to take care of before the bronze figures are loaded onto a truck for their trip Tuesday to Fort Campbell, Ky.
Their future is literally monumental, an acknowledgment of past, present and future members of the 101st Airborne Division that is headquartered at the U.S. Army post.
They will be on display in an Army museum for a few months before becoming part of a larger monument at the new 101st headquarters scheduled for completion in January.
The original plan had been to have a dedication ceremony on Memorial Day, but the Army changed plans and the soldiers will do what the Army has always trained them to do: Hurry up and wait.
These four represent the soldiers and the spirit of the 101st and its long, honorable history.
First Sgt. Billy Colwell would have been proud.
The old soldier worked for years to see the project to completion. He lost his battle to cancer in October, but up until the end he worked closely with Andrea and Larry Lugar who sculpted and cast the figures in their Lugar Foundry in Eads.
On Thursday, the sculptures were doing what soldiers do before a reassignment. They were being out-processed -- some getting a final patina, all getting their colors checked, textures refined and seam lines hidden.
Fingerprints of some of the key people working on the project have been imbedded onto the fingerpads of the figures. Sgt. Colwell's print is there, a tribute to his dedication.
And it will not fade away.
The Commercial Appeal, Friday, May 19, 2006