Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of Scud Missile Attack
March 3, 2010
- Friends and family gather at the Greensburg U.S. Army Reserve Center to remember the 13 Soldiers killed in a Scud missile attack
GREENSBURG, Pa. (March 3, 2010) - February 25 is a distinctive day here for many local military families and service members. For some, it is a moment of reflection. For others, it was the day a loved one was taken away. For the last 19 years, Soldiers, friends, families and loved ones have gathered at the local Army Reserve Center to memorialize this event; a day that changed the community forever. On Feb. 25, 1991, approximately 70 Soldiers from the 14th Quartermaster Company had just deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Storm, preparing to provide water purification support. At 8:40 pm (12:40 pm EST), an Iraqi Scud missile hit their barracks, killing 13 and wounding 43 of the unit's Soldiers. No other community felt a greater loss that day than Greensburg, the home of the 14th QM CO. "It was a heartfelt moment," said Mike Hampton, veteran and member of the VFW, Post 781. Hampton, as with many of the ceremony attendees, remembers that day in precise detail. It is a day this community will not forget. Together, the ceremony participants gathered outside of the facility near the memorial which was constructed a year after the attack. "This day is so meaningful...They (Soldiers) were so meaningful. They deserve a day of their own," said Connie Clark, the mother of Spc. Beverly Clark, who was among the Soldiers killed in the attack. The site proves to serve as more than just a memorial ground but a place of reflection, support, and camaraderie. "I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't come here," said Clark to the audience. "We gather to remember. We laugh together, cry together and remember together." For one of the former 14th Soldiers, it is a day to see familiar faces. "Today is a memorial...But it is also just nice to see everyone again," said Lester Bennett, who was originally assigned to the 464th Chemical Brigade but deployed and was present with the 14th during the attack. Now a military retiree, he continues to travel to Greensburg for the ceremony every year. Over the years, this close-knit organization has expanded and attracted members from outside the community, such as the Monroeville American Legion. "We wouldn't have what we have today without our service members. We appreciate their support and must always remember them," said Christine DeMarcki, a member of the American Legion Gold Star, Post 820. As the final rose was placed upon the memorial, the ceremony drew to a close. While the moment was solemn, the day proved to be inspirational. Year after year, faces may change but one aspect remains certain. Thirteen Soldiers may have lost their lives on Feb. 25, 1991, but their legacy lives on.