RAMADI, Iraq – “We are here this day to honor and remember our Fallen Comrades of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 28th Infantry Division (2/28 BCT), and to dedicate the journey home for the memorial which gives honor to the gift of their lives and their faithful service,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lawson, Chaplain for the 2/28 BCT, at Camp Ramadi, Iraq, Memorial Day morning.
It was only fitting that this memorial service was held in front of the Camp Ramadi, 2/28 BCT Fallen Warriors Memorial. To date, 80 names are emblazoned on the base of the memorial, and 80 dogtags hang within the inside of its steel lining.
The memorial was designed by 2nd Lt. Colleen McGarry and Spc. Raul Gomez of Company C (Med) 228th Forward Support Battalion, to honor the Fallen Warriors of the 2/28 BCT who gave their last full measure of devotion as guardians of freedom in the Al Anbar, Province, Iraq.
Col John L. Gronski, Commander of the 2/28 BCT spoke of the courage and dedication to duty that was given by the Fallen Warriors. He read from a personal letter that was mailed to him by the wife of one of The Fallen Warriors; both who will remain anonymous.
A portion of her letter read, “The Memorial you informed me about, that the Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade of the 28th Infantry Division built, touched me to the core of my soul …” As Col Gronski read the emotional heartfelt letter, it inspired each and every serviceman and servicewoman that participated in the special event. “No thank you could express the depth my heart holds for all of your Soldiers. My husband told me, ‘Soldiers believe, No Soldier left Behind’, your monument, there in Camp Ramadi, screamed out to me, ‘No Soldier left Behind Nor Forgotten.'” she wrote.
“Memorial Day has a very special meaning to all of us, and we will never forget our Fallen Warriors,” said Col. Gronski.
Chaplain Lawson closed the service by reading a scripture from the Bible, Psalm 23.
It was a perfect ending for such a sacred memorial service.
The memorial is scheduled to be disassembled tomorrow, and plans are being made to take the Fallen Warriors Memorial back to Pennsylvania, and re-dedicate it at its new site – Fort Indiantown Gap, PA.
2nd Brigade Combat Team / 28th Infantry Division (M)