We had the honor of attending a tree dedication ceremony for 11 fallen soldiers from Ft Stewart. The ceremony was very moving and emotional. It began with the crowd standing as the family members of these soldiers were escorted down Warriors Walk to their seats. After opening remarks, we all stood for the National Anthem. Then, the rear detachment commanding general for Fort Stewart, 3rd ID, recognized each of these 11 men. He read out their unit information, and he also told a little about each one, the man….not the soldier. One man was 24 years old with a wife, 3 children and one on the way. One was 31 years old, with a wife and 2 children. Another was single but loved by many friends and family. The most difficlut one for me to hear was about a young private. He was 18 years old. The General said of him that he had grown up impoverished and joined the army in an effort to provide for and support his mother and younger brother.
After reading a short piece on these brave men, the soldiers standing guard at these Eastern red bud trees unveiled the name plate for the fallen heroes.
The families then were escorted to their soldier’s tree and presented with the 3rd ID cover. The families also placed a yellow rose on the name plate. Out of respect for these families, I did not take pictures of them.
It was a very difficult time for me as we prepare for S’s deployment, but at the same time, it was an honor to be able to recognize and pay tribute to these 11 soldiers. Warrior’s Walk remembers the lives and sacrifices of 392 soldiers from Ft Stewart and the 3rd Infantry Division.
“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13