PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. (9/29/2011) - Memorial Park received a new monument Sept. 22 honoring nine Marines from the same recruit training platoon who were killed in action during the Vietnam War.
A new monument was added to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Memorial Park Sept. 22, 2011 as a dedication to Marines killed in action from Platoon 3086, who graduated recruit training, Oct. 21, 1966. Photo by USMC Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes
| ||Platoon 3086's former senior drill instructor and other platoon members donated the memorial. |
“The regiment is honored to accept this monument on behalf of Brig. Gen. Reynolds and the entire recruit depot,” said Col. Robert Jones, commanding officer for the Recruit Training Regiment. “Nine members of Plt. 3086 were killed in action in the Republic of Vietnam, and it is fitting we honor their memory today.”
The Marines' photos were placed in front of the memorial.
Lawrence Ward, the platoon's senior drill instructor who pushed for the memorial, spoke at the ceremony.
“I'm not much of a spiritual man, but I believe that they're here with us now,” Ward said. “Not in that marble, but they're here, and they'll always be here.”
Ward said he plans to revisit the memorial each year. After his speech, each of the donors presented a wreath.
“It was an important day for me, because I could see what it did for my drill instructor,” said William Simon, a graduate of the platoon. “He was proud as a peacock out there and that makes it exciting for me.”
Simon continuously referred to Ward as his “dad.”
“Camaraderie is the main player in all of this,” Simon continued. “It took us 45 years to come together and create this memorial for nine people we only know as brothers and raised by the same father – we're not forgetting our fallen.”
Ward, Simon, Jones and some of the depot personnel present at the event placed Marine Corps and American flags in front of the memorial, in front of the KIA Marines' photos.
Raymond Edwards, another platoon member, said a Marine that falls is never forgotten as long as the Corps lives on. All three former Marines of 3086 believe it is important for future Marines to learn that.
“When a Marine endures and survives the trauma of war, it's their moral obligation to articulate that experience to others,” Ward said.
Coincidentally, Plt. 3086, Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion will graduate Oct. 21 this year, 45 years after their predecessors. The platoon was present at the ceremony.
“We're so honored to have you here today, because the legacy we speak about, we are looking at right now,” Simon said, as he addressed the recruits. “You are our legacy, Marines.”
More associated images in frame below
By USMC Lance Cpl. Francisco Abundes
Provided through DVIDS
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