The Portrait of a Warrior Gallery in downtown Bakersfield will mark its one-year anniversary beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Statue of Liberty mural on the corner of 20th and Eye streets.
The gallery, which opened Sept. 10, 2018, is dedicated primarily to service members from Kern County who gave their lives in battle in the months and years following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
A special presentation will begin the program with a fallen hero roll call and a gun salute, Jason Geis, the gallery's co-founder and executive director, said in a press release.
The ceremony will then move across Eye Street to the gallery, where new portraits will be unveiled and future projects at the gallery will be revealed.
It was just last year that aging Vietnam veterans worked side by side with younger veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to help make the gallery a success. Scores of other volunteers from the community joined in the effort, including red-shirted volunteers from Lowe's who donated hundreds of hours of labor and goods through the company's Lowe's Heroes program.
The gallery features the portraits of more than two dozen post-9/11 warriors with Kern County connections who were killed in action or died as a result of wounds suffered on the battlefield.
The families of the fallen were given the first tour of the gallery last year. Some were local, but several family members flew in from out of state. Each family received a smaller version of their loved one's portrait to take home.
In addition to the portraits, the gallery includes a Vietnam Room featuring the photos of locals who lost their lives in Vietnam.
A resource room offers information about how and where vets can get physical and mental health assistance and other veteran services.
Other spaces honor those who served in still other wars and conflicts.
Those lost to suicide are also counted among those honored.
The gallery is located at 1925 Eye St.