EL PASO, Texas - Service members on Fort Bliss and members of the surrounding El Paso, Texas, community attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Bulldog Brigade Memorial, June 25.
The memorial, which will be completed later this year, is being constructed to honor fallen Bulldog Brigade Soldiers who gave their lives during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
"This memorial is about honoring the sacrifice of your loved ones, our loved ones and comrades; they will never be forgotten," said Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, commanding general of the 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.
The memorial will be constructed near the entrance of the 3rd BCT's headquarters, with a Fallen Soldier Battle Cross as the centerpiece and three monumental T-Walls as the backdrop listing the Fallen Bulldog soldiers that have made the "ultimate sacrifice".
During the groundbreaking ceremony, attendees had the opportunity to see the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross, which is already in place, and view an image of what the future memorial will look like.
Pittard, who served with the Bulldog Brigade during Desert Strom, said the unit and the people he served with will always have a special place in his heart. He also reminded the attendees of the remaining troopers who are still deployed overseas.
"We have over 3,300 Bulldog Soldiers fighting a tough fight in Eastern Afghanistan," said Pittard. "We must always remember their sacrifice."
Members of the Bulldog Brigade Memorial Association were also present before the event. The BBMA is responsible for collecting donations for the fallen soldiers memorial.
"For many of us this has become personal," said Carla Whitesell-Dahl, president of the BBMA. "Sadly our brigade has lost 11 soldiers during its current deployment to Afghanistan. We are working to build a memorial worthy of the respect and admiration we feel for these soldiers and the other fallen Bulldogs that have preceded them."
The BBMA is currently fundraising to complete their goal of raising $50,000 for the memorial.
For more information on the progress of the Bulldog Brigade Memorial or how to donate to the memorial visit http://www.facebook.com/#!/BulldogBrigadeMemorial.