By Col. John L. Gronski 2/28 BCT Commander
To date, the 2/28 BCT has had 79 Fallen Warriors Killed In Action (KIA). On Easter Sunday, April 16, 2006 we honored our Fallen Warriors by dedicating to them The Fallen Warriors Memorial. The memorial was designed by 2nd Lt. Colleen McGarry and Spc. Raul Gomez, C (Med), 228th Forward Support Battalion in Camp Ramadi. Many other dedicated individuals were instrumental in the creation and construction of the memorial.
Chaplain Lt. Col. Charles Purinton TF 1-172 Armor described it best when he wrote “Nature’s reverential silence inspired the hearts of comrades gathered for the dedication of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2BCT) Fallen Warriors Memorial on April 16th at Camp Ramadi.” He added “The memorial is a creation of their hearts, built from the heart to be used by the heart.”
On that memorable day, 2nd Lt. McGarry asked us to “Use the memorial to remember, to grieve, and to heal…Allow it to change your heart when you visit.” The memorial is built of steel blasted by weapons, stone and shattered glass, each element and shape representing part of our remembrance. 2nd Lt. McGarry continued, “It stands tall as a testament to the unique battle the living fight and the fallen have left.”
As one stands before it, this open structure allows the Spirit within us to mingle with the Spirit around us, uniting memories and hopes among comrades, friends, and families.
We have made plans to take this sacred memorial back to Pennsylvania and re-dedicate it at its new site – the 28th Infantry Division (M) Headquarters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Our Iron Soldiers display tremendous resolve and are even more determined than ever to put forth great effort in order to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
The general mood and attitude of the Soldiers is very good. Their morale is high. They believe in what they are doing and they see improvement. The BCT realizes that our work in Iraq helps to make this region safer and our nation safer from the threat of terrorism. We would much rather fight terrorists over here than fight them in the United States. We realize that our families and loved ones are safer because of our work here.
See Also the original story A Tribute to Our Fallen Warriors
Please visit our website at http://ironsoldiers.army.mil and select our Fallen Warriors Link to view our Fallen Warriors.