FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Aug. 30, 2022) -- Members of the Fort Drum community joined Gold Star families and guests Aug. 30 in Memorial Park to honor the sacrifices made by 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers who died in service of the nation.
Brig. Gen. Jason Curl, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commanding general for operations, served as guest speaker at the Annual Remembrance Ceremony, where he spoke about the origin of the national Gold Star Mothers organization.
After Lt. George Seibold died while serving in World War I, his mother Grace organized a group of mothers whose sons also had died in service to the nation. They comforted each other, and other families, who were bonded by loss. On June 4, 1928, 25 mothers met in Washington, D.C., to form the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.
Curl said that the 10th Mountain Division (LI) has deployed numerous times since its activation during World War II – in both combat and relief operations, and that 10th Mountain Division Soldiers have spent more time in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other division in the Army.
“As you know more than anyone, this has come at a terrible cost,” he said. “Over 320 10th Mountain Division Soldiers have lost their lives over the past two decades, including 180 in Afghanistan. Our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, teammates, squad mates, crew mates and leaders have left tremendous holes in all of our hearts.”
Curl said the country exists because there are men and women who are willing to make this sacrifice in its defense.
“We are standing here today because of these heroes, and we are standing here today because of the families who have supported them and continue to support us,” he said. “On behalf of a grateful nation, thank you.”
Before senior leaders placed a wreath at the base of the Military Mountaineers Monument, a contingent of 10th Mountain Division (LI) Soldiers – each representing a fallen Soldier of the same rank and unit – also placed wreaths underneath the memorial plaques along Heroes Walk. This symbolizes the continued legacy of the Soldiers from one generation to the next.
The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun salute, and the playing of “Amazing Grace” and “Taps” by the 10th Mountain Division Band.