Fallen Combat Engineers Honored, Remembered
(April 20, 2011)
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (4/15/2011) - The U.S. Army Engineer Regiment
held a Soldier Memorial Tribute and Fallen Sapper Memorial Wall
unveiling for family members and fellow engineers on the evening of
April 7 at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
More than 330 names of combat engineers lost during combat operations in the Global War on Terror were etched on the Memorial Wall for Fallen Engineers that was unveiled April 7,
2011 at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. Each of the walls for the Fallen Sapper Memorial stand 4-foot-1/2-inch wide by 6 feet high. The bases are 4-foot-1/2-inch wide, by 18-inches high by 30-inches deep. The loops at the top are used to move the wall made of red Missouri granite. (Photo by Cotton Puryear)
The tribute, held in the World War II Chapel, was designed to pay
humble and respectful homage to the 33 engineer soldiers who died in
combat from April 2010 to April 2011. Immediately following the
ceremony, a memorial wall, best described as having a level of
dignity that is similar to the Vietnam Wall, was unveiled for the
first time in the Engineer Memorial Grove.
The wall, made of
red Missouri granite and engraved with the names of more than 330
engineers who made the ultimate sacrifice, was unveiled in front of
family members and fellow engineers from across the country. Rubbing
material was provided so that family members and fellow engineers
could trace the names from the wall.
Brig. Gen. Bryan Watson, commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer School
began the tribute by saying, “One of our most solemn and sacred duties
as a soldier is to honor the fallen members of our brotherhood, our
“Tonight we honor our band of brothers—Each of whom were
unique in life, but somehow bound together in the force of life—in that
human drive to serve the nation.”
Watson spoke to the unique
perspectives, personalities, likes and dislikes of each soldier—each
having their list of best movies, songs, high school memories and
favorite dish that mom prepared.
Watson said, “But at some
point, they were also inspired by a sense of service.
“To be part
of something much bigger than self, and they acted upon that sense.
“So we come here tonight, some come here to remember, some to pay
tribute, some to mourn, but also to celebrate for the way that they
lived, and the way they sacrificed as fallen engineers.”
Following the tribute, the Fallen Engineer Memorial Wall was unveiled
outside of the WWII Chapel in Engineer Memorial Grove.
Maj. Gen. Clair F. Gill, president, Army Engineer Association, welcomed
guests and thanked soldiers, units, individuals and industry partners
for their contributions in support of the construction of the monument
and for making the memorial dedication possible.
Lt. Gen. Robert
L. Van Antwerp, chief of engineers, U.S. Army, and commanding general of
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, spoke directly to family members on
behalf of a grateful nation, on behalf of soldiers everywhere, and on
behalf of engineers around the world for the honor, sacrifice, courage,
friendship and love demonstrated by their engineer soldiers.
Antwerp remarked, “To the families and friends your sacrifice is great.
We did not come here tonight to open deep wounds, but we did come here
tonight to say that you are not alone, and you will never be forgotten.
Your soldiers will never be forgotten."
By Marti Yoshida
Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office
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