The We Will Remember nonprofit service project may have always been Connor Nicol’s destiny.
His dad is active-duty military. His mother, grandfather and all of his great-grandfathers are veterans. When Connor was 12, he watched a movie about World War II.
All these combined caused something to click in his heart and mind.
“I kept thinking about how young all of the service members were who gave their lives for our country,” Connor says. “They really didn’t look that much older than my brothers and I.”
Connor, a Scout with Troop 810 in Vass, N.C., decided he had to do something.
In 2020, he created We Will Remember, a nonprofit organization with the mission of keeping the names of fallen veterans alive in the minds of today’s Americans.
“They didn’t get to come home to finish growing up,” says Connor, now a 14-year-old Eagle Scout. “They didn’t get to get married, have a family or live their dreams. They gave us this massive gift that we can never repay — only be grateful for — and their names become forgotten as the years pass.”
A tag for each fallen veteran
He began this journey by going through the country’s national archives and collecting information on every veteran who lost their life serving the United States.
The process consisted of making a memorial dog tag for each fallen veteran’s name. Connor attaches that tag to a piece of paper with background information on the service member and then finds a person who is willing to adopt the tag. That person agrees to keep that one name in their thoughts and prayers.
Overall, Connor’s goal with We Will Remember is to never let a fallen veteran’s name become forgotten.
“I want to create a personal connection so there is at least one person who is remembering that service member’s name — keeping their memory alive,” Connor says. “I think that this honors the sacrifice made by the service member. It also increases awareness and appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of those who gave everything for our country to be safe.”
Hard work with great reward
So far, Connor has made more than 36,000 dog tags with the names of veterans of the Korean War. He’s currently working on tags for those who participated in the Vietnam War.
He funds the program by doing chores, arranging sponsorships and collecting donations.
“To the person who adopts the tag, they are completely free,” Connor says. “I just ask the person who takes the tag to be willing to commit to the mission and not just throw it away.”
Connor aims to share the tags he has created with Scouts any chance he gets. He’s also hoping to share them at the National Jamboree this summer.
Connor is quick to note that We Will Remember is not his Eagle Scout project.
“An Eagle project has to have an end, and I don’t see this having an end for me,” he says.
Visit the We Will Remember website and Facebook page for more information.