SHELBY — Brad and Rachele Palmer have one wish for their son, that no one forgets the sacrifice he made.
Lance Corporal Niklas Palmer made the decision to join the Marines as a junior in high school, a decision that his mother was unsure of: “That’s what he wanted to do at that time. All I could do was encourage him.”
Parents want what’s best for their children, even if it means giving them up for a great cause. The Palmers reflected on their son.
“He was always exploring and trying and experimenting and that kind of stuff.”
“He loved to fish,” his father, Brad said, recalling that he also loved to shoot guns and beat his dad in trap shooting.
Lance Corporal Palmer was 19 when he was killed in action.
“In 2006, December 16th,” Brad paused, “He was killed in Fallujah, Iraq.”
Emotions and loss aside, his dad feels a sense of pride in his son’s service.
"He’s a hero in my world, he said.”
The Shelby Veteran’s Flag and park was built by a group of combat veterans. John Alstad is a Vietnam veteran who worked with Brad Palmer in business. When he heard the news of the death of LCPL Palmer, it hit home.
“The freedom that we enjoy as Americans, as civilians, has been paid for at a very high, steep price, of which you saw today with Brad, Brad’s wife, and Niklas’s mother. They’ve paid a price and will pay that price the rest of their lives,” Alstad said.
Alstad is the designer of the memorial, but more importantly the man behind the brick that will honor the Lance Corporal.
“It’s an unspeakable honor, to know that all these people, not only this memorial but every memorial across the United States, it’s all the same thing. Just an honor beyond belief,” Rachele said.
“My mission is to make sure that everybody knows Niklas Palmer and all those that they’re not forgotten,” Brad said.