Valley businessman honors local veterans

FRESNO, Calif.

The large murals represent patriotism in the Central Valley. The images are painted on the walls of businessman A.J. Rassemni's building. And on Wednesday, both he and local vets presented parents of fallen troops with a plaque honoring their child's sacrifice to this country.

"Those of us that have lost kids in this war really appreciate those people who keep their memories alive by doing something like this," said Susan Lusk of Reedley.

Susan Lusk's son Joe was a Captain in the Army and graduated from West Point after attending Reedley High School here in the Valley. Captain Lusk died in a helicopter training exercise in Kuwait back in 2005.

Susan shared Wednesday's moment with other parents from California. Many took the time to thank the artists that created the stunning visual portraits of their sons.

"You really don't know what freedom is unless you come from a different country. And I know what it means. And that's why I wanted to honor everybody since September 11th," said A.J. Rassemni.

Rassemni endured 13-years of civil war in his native Lebanon. He named his company The Great American Car Wash and believes freedom is earned through sacrifice. And no one understands that more than these parents.

Lusk says even though she never met the others before today, there's a common link that binds them together in a way that makes them feel like family. "It's life affirming in a way because it give us, I mean anyone who's lost a child in the war it's a bond. It's like you're already a sister or a brother."

Posted on the walls are seven names and faces that are celebrated in a very big way -- and Ressemni says more are on the way.

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