FORT HOOD, Texas -- After more than a year of planning and construction, Fort Hood’s Survivor Outreach Services officially moved into the Shoemaker Center during a rededication ceremony in front of the building, Sept. 26, before unveiling the new Hall of Remembrance nestled inside its new location.Sunday was Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day, making the ceremony a fitting tribute to the survivors. Kent Brickman, branch manager of the Wounded and Fallen Branch of Army Community Service, said he was able to customize the rooms to suit their needs, with offices in the front and the Hall of Remembrance tucked away for privacy.Featuring photos of 350 fallen service members, the Hall of Remembrance is a refuge for survivors to feel closer to their loved one. Brickman said, when they are ready, survivors ask for their loved one’s photo to be placed in the hall.“You cannot step into that room and not be overwhelmed with the presence and power of loss,” Chaplain (Col.) Gary Fisher, III Corps chaplain, said. “Three hundred and fifty photos and mementos, lives cut short.”During his remarks, Fisher said his Army career has been marked by death and loss – fallen heroes gone before their time, leaving the surviving family members to bear the loss.“Let us remember that not all heroes are buried. Many, so many, live among us and that’s you,” Fisher told approximately 25 Gold Star survivors in the audience. “Silently, patiently, bearing the unthinkable – a child taken before a parent, a parent taken before a child’s first steps and words.”For the survivors, the Hall of Remembrance is a place of comfort, where they can feel closer to their loved one, while also being around survivors having the same feelings of loss and grief.To help ease the discomfort of the move, Brickman said great care was taken to place photos near the same people and if any mementos were attached to the pictures, that they were placed in the exact same way in the new Hall of Remembrance.“One of the things I wanted to make sure of was that the photos would be near the same people. We’ve gotten to know the families of the Soldiers around our loved one,” Naomi Roupe, Gold Star spouse of Col. Lee Roupe, who passed away in March 2012, said. “That was a big issue because we get to know them and they become family.”The Hall of Remembrance is used for holiday meals and other get-togethers for the survivors. Susan Hernandez, surviving spouse of Irving Hernandez Jr. described the hall as a “sanctuary” to come feel closer to their loved one. Susan said she knows things in life change, so she feels honored that SOS is continuing to work for the survivors and honor the memory of the fallen.Speaking during the ribbon cutting ceremony, Maj. Gen. John Richardson IV, deputy commanding general of III Corps and Fort Hood, said American Soldiers are special because they are willing to swear allegiance and give their lives for something bigger than themselves.“The United States is the greatest country on earth. It’s actually the greatest idea in the human endeavor,” he said, discussing the Constitution. “We’re willing to sacrifice our lives for this idea.”Richardson said he immediately felt the love when he stepped into the Hall of Remembrance.“It almost feels like you’re getting a hug,” he added. “It’s a place you can come and really spend time. It’s a solemn place you can come and reflect and talk to your loved one.”Gold Star families can use the Hall of Remembrance to grieve for their loved one, celebrate milestones or just sit and speak with their loved one. During his message to the families, Fisher told them not to be ashamed of grieving for as long as they need.“Grief is not a sign of weakness or a lack of faith, it is simply the price of love,” he said.SOS is located on the first floor of the Shoemaker Center. Operating hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information, call (254) 368-5365.