A Memorial for the Fallen, in Need of a Home A stone cutter in Manassas, Va., is building a 30-foot-long granite memorial, with the names and etched faces of every soldier who's died in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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A Memorial for the Fallen, in Need of a Home

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A Memorial for the Fallen, in Need of a Home

A Memorial for the Fallen, in Need of a Home

A Memorial for the Fallen, in Need of a Home

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5435431/5437202" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Roustazad at a prayer service and dedication for the monument. David Miller hide caption

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David Miller

Roustazad at a prayer service and dedication for the monument.

David Miller

The black granite memorial has enough space for 5,600 names. David Miller hide caption

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David Miller

The black granite memorial has enough space for 5,600 names.

David Miller

Roustazad and his 10-man crew spent a week constructing the tribute to U.S. service members. David Miller hide caption

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David Miller

Roustazad and his 10-man crew spent a week constructing the tribute to U.S. service members.

David Miller

The monument sits on the side of a four-lane road, across from a shopping center and a car lot. David Miller hide caption

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David Miller

The monument sits on the side of a four-lane road, across from a shopping center and a car lot.

David Miller

On a warm spring day, inside a stone-cutting workshop in Manassas, Va., a man is sandblasting a headstone with the name of someone who has recently passed away. Outside, Kevin Roustazad, an Iranian-born immigrant who owns the shop, gives a tour of the 30-foot-long, black granite monument he's constructed to honor American forces killed in ongoing wars.

"The wall is going to have all the names, ranks, dates, places of birth… and the last place they served… in Iraq and Afghanistan," Roustazad says, "and above, his or her picture."

Roustazad will use a stencil and sandblaster to carve the name of every person killed in service since the invasion of Afghanistan. And he'll etch into the memorial's face a portrait of each soldier in porcelain.

While his monument prompts obvious comparisons to the Vietnam Memorial, it's on a much smaller scale. The names will be a quarter-inch tall, and the rounded photos will be just an inch-and-a-quarter. He's left enough space for 5,600 names.

After he carves the names and applies the pictures of nearly 3,000 men and women, he'll need to find the memorial a permanent home. The stone slab sits awkwardly between an auto wash and a car lot. He's hoping to find a quiet setting.

"I'd like to see it in a park-like place away from the everyday rush and the traffic," Roustazad says. "To be honest, I don't know where it will end up."

In the meantime, Roustazad is calling the family of each service member from a list provided by the military. He's eager to make sure that the picture he has is the one they want on the monument.