AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy (Nov. 16, 2007) -- A memorial service here Nov. 15 honored the lives of four Airmen and two Soldiers who were killed when a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter attached to the 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment here crashed Nov 8.

Friends and Family members gathered to pay their respects and celebrate the lives of Capt. Cartize B. Durham, Staff Sgt. Robert D. Rogers, Staff Sgt. Mark A. Spence and Senior Airman Kenneth P. Hauprich, Jr. of the 31st Fighter Wing and Capt. Christian P. Skoglund and Chief Warrant Officer DavidAngelo F. Alvarez of the 1st Battalion, 214th Aviation Regiment.

Gen. William T. Hobbins, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander; Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney McKinley, and Brig. Gen. Craig Franklin, 31st Fighter Wing commander, were among the many to express their gratitude to the fallen servicemembers and their families for all they have given to their country.

"These six men were proud members of our nation's military; our Army, our Air Force," said Franklin. "The past few days have been tough, but our lost loved ones and friends did not die in vain. They honorably served their country and that will never be forgotten."

Col. Roberto Sardo, Italian air force commander, said he was representing the Italian military and civilian communities by saying:

"I want to bring a big hug and give all the condolences to the families."

He noted that thousands of Italian servicemembers -- as well as those from other countries -- have died along the Piave River. He said that those who died "will always be in our hearts forever."

To read the two-page salute to the six servicemembers who lost their lives in the crash in today's issue of the Aviano "Vigileer" newspaper, go to www.aviano.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-071115-092.pdf