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Rahway artist erects Iraq war memorial


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When Rahway artist Jim McKeon set out to create a work honoring the families of fallen soldiers fighting in Iraq, it started with one tattoo-inspired broken heart. But since then, the painted hearts, each with a white banner and the word “MOM” on them, have grown to 4,318 – one for every soldier lost in Iraq. The 19-panel memorial, which is being erected in front of the Rahway train station, will open on Sept. 12, but it’s still a work in progress. McKeon, an artist with the Rahway Art Hive, has invited the public to finish it by painting in the hearts. McKeon was inspired to create the memorial during the deployment of his friend’s son, a Marine. People can pledge a heart for $10, which supports The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. After the opening, the public can participate in painting hearts on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment. (Video by Nyier Abdou/The Star-Ledger)