Around 80 pax posted to Southpark Symphony Park for a morning of remembering those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the freedom’s we enjoy. While many people think of this day as a celebration similar to Independence Day and opt to enjoy backyard BBQ’s and family time, across the F3 Nation and here in Metro, many men chose to start the day remembering what this day is about. “Decoration Day” started in the 1800’s following the civil war and was a day in the spring where tombstones of Civil War fallen soldiers were decorated with flowers. Over time, this tradition was continued with men killed in other wars including WWI, WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam War. Memorial Day was designated as an official holiday in the late 60’s. While Veteran’s day celebrates all military veterans, Memorial Day is the day to remember military personnel who died while serving in the military.
6 veterans helped us focus on the fallen – Hopwood (US Navy), H.E. (US Marine Corp), Angler (US Army), Dredd (US Army), Moonshine (US Army) and Disney (US Army).
After gathering in a large COP of concentric circles to bring the pax closer together we alternated exercises and stories of warriors who lost their lives in action. The heroes memorialized today were:
Spc. Jocelyn L. Carrasquillo, 28, USA, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Brigade, 1st Battalion, KIA March 13, 2004, Baghdad, Iraq
Major Doug Zembiec, 34, USMC, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corp National Capital Region, KIA May 11, 2007, Baghdad, Iraq
SFC Darrell Clay, 25 and SGT Israel Devora Garcia, 23, USA, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, KIA, April 1, 2006, Baghdad, Iraq
LtCol Christopher Raible, 40, USMC, Marine Attack Squadron 211, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force, KIA September 15, 2012, Camp Bastion airfield, Afghanistan
SO2 (SEAL) Nicholas Spehar, 25, USN, SEAL Team 5, KIA August 6, 2011, Wardack Province, Afghanistan
PFC Nguyen Tre, RVN, An Giang Provence Regional Force. KIA Early Spring, 1969, An Giang Provence.
We also remembered the service of Moonshine’s son who left on deployment this morning:
SSG Walter B. Whitaker, 29, USA, Green Beret, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), 3rd Battalion, deployed to West African country of Burkina Faso; SF motto, this mission, and every mission: De Oppresso Liber.
After sharing moving stories of these lost lives, and one life committed to serve, we broke into four groups led by Disney, Hopwood, Merrill, and Moonshine and did some exercises to experience a little pain in these warriors honor.