Soldiers, Families Lay Roses for Fallen
March 6, 2009
<b> FORT STEWART, Ga. </b> A trip down Fort Stewart's Warriors Walk will reveal a new addition to the post's landmark- silk red roses. This simple yet poignant decoration can stir vivid memories of the famed Arlington National Cemetery, where similar roses decorate its headstones.
The roses were placed at Warriors Walk by Family Members and loved ones as well as representatives from Fort Stewart units during a ceremony held Feb. 24.
"The roses were donated by Arlington National Cemetery volunteers," said Chief Warrant Officer Houston Burke, 3rd Infantry Division targeting officer.
More than 500 hand-tied silk roses were donated, which began as a gesture of gratitude from volunteers at Arlington National Cemetery.
Last month, 10 Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team laid roses at the national cemetery's own rose-laying ceremony, Burke said.
"The 10 Soldiers volunteered their time to travel to Washington, D.C., and help the Families and loved ones of fallen servicemembers. In turn, they wanted us to be able to pay homage at our own landmark," Burke said.
During the holidays, wreaths were laid at Arlington National Cemetery, much like they were laid at Warriors Walk.
Burke said many of the trees and plants are bare during the winter months. The Arlington staff chose to lay the silk roses to withstand the cold weather.
"This donation allows us to continue to mirror our national cemetery and we will be able to make this an annual event," Burke said.
Originally planned as a small event, Stewart's rose-laying ceremony attracted more than 100 Family and friends.
"Warriors Walk is the equivalent to Arlington's section 60," said Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, 3rd ID commander, of the area at Arlington National Cemetery dedicated to fallen servicemembers of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"It is a very special place, our own 'Vietnam Wall' where we can pay tribute to each Soldier we have lost," Cucolo said.