SALT LAKE CITY -- A massive quilt honoring fallen soldiers made a tour stop in Utah on Thursday.
The Lost Heroes Art Quilt was created by artist Julie Feingold, of Florida, and is a tribute to fallen soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Feingold says her work is nonpolitical, addresses the themes of loss and remembrance and honors fallen heroes.
The quilt will be on display in the Hall of Governors at the state Capitol through Wednesday, then will make its way to Wyoming, Montana, Washington, down the West Coast and then back to the East Coast.
By the end of its journey in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, the exhibit will have traveled through the entire United States and will eventually be placed in the Smithsonian Institution.
A special ceremony showcasing the quilt was held Thursday at the Capitol.
Speaking at the event were Lt. Gov. Greg Bell; Brig. Gen. Jefferson Burton, who is assistant adjutant general of the Utah National Guard; and Tim and Fay Dolan, parents of Daniel G. Dolan, a Roy soldier who died in August 2006 during combat in Iraq.
At 15 feet wide and 6 feet high, the quilt has the names and faces of 50 soldiers, each one representing a different state, who have died in either Iraq or Afghanistan.
The soldiers are depicted as children on the quilt.
"It's important to realize why the pictures of the soldiers are as children," said Fay Dolan, whose son Daniel is the Utah representative on the quilt.
"All of these soldiers were someone's child. They each had a life aside from the military. They were not just soldiers, but sons, daughters, brothers and sisters."
Bell said many of the men and women who have died in the two conflicts were in fact children only a short time ago.
"It's important to remember that wars are being fought by individuals," he said, "and many of them are often barely adults. It's absolutely vital that we remember them and why they served."
Dolan said her son went into combat shortly after graduating from high school and ended up paying the ultimate price for his country.
"At a very young age, (Daniel) was willing to give all for his country, and he felt the cause was more important than his life," she said.
"And there are many others just like him who should be remembered not because they died, but because they so willingly gave."