Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion, 2nd
Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division pay respects to the Marines that
sacrificed their lives during their last deployment to Afghanistan
during a memorial ceremony held Oct. 8, 2010 aboard Marine Corps Base
Camp Lejeune. Each fallen Marine is represented by a battlefield cross
and a portrait.
Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Regiment, gather with friends and family aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Oct. 8, 2010 to witness the unveiling of a statue dedicated to the Marines killed in action during the battalion's last deployment to Afghanistan.
||Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. (MCN - 10/12/2010)
Death is an inevitable
part of life. Some reach ripe old ages and blink out of existence while others
may be gone well before their time. It is never a joyous occasion when life is
plucked prematurely, but either old or young, the actions performed and memories
left behind will, in a sense, make them immortal.
On Oct. 8, 2010, the Marines and sailors from 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine
Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, gathered with friends and family to honor and
preserve the memories of the Marines who sacrificed all during the battalion's
During their combat deployment to Afghanistan, the battalion lost 10 Marines.
Prayers and biblical verses were rendered on behalf of the fallen Marines as
their family and peers somberly sat in reflection of the ones they lost.
“They were our brothers,” said Lt. Col. Michael A. Manning, the battalions
commanding officer. “They fought side by side with us day in and day out, we
shared everything. We will always hold a place in our hearts and our thoughts
for these brothers.”
Each Marine was represented by a battlefield cross in front of their portrait.
Consisting of boots, rifle and kevlar helmet, the cross is a sign of respect to
the fallen Marines.
A final roll call was performed where Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey M. Cullen, the
battalion's sergeant major, called out each Marines name while the addressed
Marines battlefield cross was finalized with their dog tags, completing the
“All of these Marines were true warriors,” said Capt. Nathan B. Chandler, the
commander of Company C. “God bless you, you will not be forgotten.”
The stage was opened to the audience to come and say their final good-byes.
Tears and stifled sobs echoed throughout the crowd. Hands were placed on the
kevlars and dog tags were kissed. Each mourner received closure in their own
“We were very good friends,” said Cpl. Justin D. Palmer, a team leader in
Company A, 1st platoon, in reflection of Lance Cpl. Thomas E. Rivers. “He was a
real caring guy who always put his job and Marines before anything else. I want
him to know that I love him and miss him very much. I really appreciate
everything he has done.”
A statue was dedicated in honor and memory of the fallen Marines at the
conclusion of the ceremony. The statue stands so that all who see it can
remember what the brave young men gave and preserves their actions throughout
“They unflinchingly went into battle with no hesitation,” said Manning.
“They are the true heroes of this nation.”