Soldier memorial tribute gives meaning to selfless service
April 25, 2013
- Ceremony pays tribute to fallen Soldiers of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (April 24, 2013) -- The United States Army Engineer Regiment held a Soldier Memorial Tribute in the World War II Chapel on Fort Leonard Wood's Engineer Memorial Grove April 18.
More than 22 family members attended the ceremony, which paid tribute to 24 engineer Soldiers who died in combat during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom from April 2012 to April 2013.
Brig. Gen. Peter "Duke" DeLuca, U.S. Army Engineer School commandant, said it's important for the Engineer Regiment to hold the memorial tribute to respect and honor the sacrifice of these Soldiers and their families.
"There are a lot of ceremonies that the Army has already conducted to render military honors and pay proper respects," he said. "So the question might arise, why one more?"
"Your Sappers were in units around the Army and some of them served in more than one unit," he said. "In the end, of all the units they served in, my home regiment and your Fallen Sapper's home regiment, is the Army Engineer Regiment. The home of the Army Engineer Regiment is here at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and has been since 1995."
"On behalf of the Army Engineer Regiment, we will do everything in our power to give the fullest meaning to your sacrifice so that it is not in vain, so that it achieves safety and security for our country, and prevents disasters and tragedies in the future," he said.
"Your Soldier will be remembered here forever," he said.
The names of 24 engineer Soldiers were added to a Memorial Wall for Fallen Engineers which was unveiled immediately after the Soldier Memorial Tribute. The wall stands directly outside the World War II Chapel in the Engineer Memorial Grove and ensures that engineer Soldiers will not be forgotten.
After the unveiling, family members and fellow engineers were invited to trace the names on the wall, which holds more than 350 names.