Showing 104 posts tagged memorial
Wreath-laying and Changing of the Guard.
Video of 3rd Infantry Regiment at Arlington National Cemetery, hosting the US Army Reserve in laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, followed by the changing of the guard.
(Videographer Sergeant Sean-David McDonald, 23 APR 2013.)
SOLDIER STORIES: Iron Mike reunion at Belleau Wood
U.S. Marines and French soldiers gather on the parade field of the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery during a Memorial Day service in honor of the 93rd anniversary of the Battle for Belleau Wood. This year’s ceremony marks the first time in 93 years that the Marines of the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments have returned to the battlefield together to honor their fallen comrades. More than 1,800 Marines from the 5th and 6th Regiments lost their lives in the 21-day battle that stopped the last German offensive in 1918.
(Article and photos by Sergeant Rocco Defilippis, 30 MAR 2013.)
BELLEAU, France — In the summer of 1918 two regiments of Marines arrived in the Picardy region of north-central France as part of the American Expeditionary Force. With combat experience limited to ship-born detachments and small land engagements, the Marines of the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments would soon find themselves making history in the wheat fields and forests around a small village called Belleau.
For the first time in the 93 years since one of the Corps’ most iconic battles, the Marines of 5th and 6th returned their battle colors to the hallowed grounds at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial to pay tribute to the men who fought and died in the battle that stopped the last major German offensive of World War I.
In observance of the ceremony, Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, the Honorable Charles H. Rivkin, U.S. ambassador to France, French dignitaries and representatives from the Ministry of Defense, and the United States Marine Corps Battle Colors Detachment joined Marines from the 5th and 6th Regiment; the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Company out of Rota, Spain; Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa and thousands of French citizens to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price in defense of liberty.
During his remarks, Gen. Conway paid tribute to the Marines who earned their famous nickname “Devil Dog”, spoke to the common bonds shared between the French and Americans, and highlighted how the Marines ’ sacrifice at Belleau Wood was, in part, a small repayment to the French for their unwavering support to the Americans during the War for Independence.
In addition to the ceremony, the Marines who attended were also given the chance to tour the battlefield, learn the history, and walk in the footsteps of their predecessors.
“As a member of [2nd Battalion, 5th Marines], this experience has been amazing,” said Sgt. Thomas Stafford, platoon sergeant with Weapons Company, 2/5 and a Estcada, Ore. native. “As we learned during the tour, this is the birthplace of most of our infantry training and tactics, not to mention the legacy that the Marines made here. So, it’s pretty awesome to be here.”
Known for its bloody wheat fields where on the 6th of June, 1918, the Marines sustained more casualties in one day than it had in its previous 143 years of existence, the battlefield tour had a profound impact on the participants.
“It’s an inspiring moment, looking across those fields and walking through the wheat,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jeremy Marks, supply officer for 1st and 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines and a Caldwell, Texas native. “All Marines hear the story and know about Belleau Wood, but for the Marines here today; they will be able to go back and share with their Marines at the regiment and it will give it that extra bit of significance.”
Although the Marines took heavy losses on the 6th, in the remaining 20 days of the battle, the Marines not only proved that they were a determined and ferocious fighting force, but birthed the “Devil Dog” legacy that has inspired generation after generation of Marines .
“The Marines today carry with them that same warrior’s spirit as the Marines who took this wood 93 years ago,” said Sgt. Maj. Kent. “It’s only right to pay tribute to those who have gone before us and gave us the proud legacy to live up to. It’s something we take very seriously as Marines, and it’s something that we are doing now and will continue to do in the future.”
The Memorial Day service concluded with an informal gathering at the famous Bulldog Fountain, an important pilgrimage site located on a small estate in the village of Belleau, where Marines, family members, and French citizens gathered to celebrate and continue the Franco-American friendship that has endured throughout the history of the United States.
“Today, as we do each year, we come to this place to remember where it all happened,” said Lt. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin, deputy chairman for the military committee at NATO headquarters and Savannah, Ga. native. “This event symbolizes not only our respect and appreciation for the warriors who died here, but also gives us a chance to remember the common bonds we share as nations and our devotion to the defense of liberty.”
More than 1,800 Marines from the 5th and 6th Regiment and several U.S. soldiers were killed during the Battle for Belleau Wood. In addition to their heroic feats at Belleau Wood, the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments went on to fight in other battles such as Aisne, Saint-Mihiel, the Meuse-Argonne offensive, Soissons, and Blanc Mont. For their gallantry in combat, the French government awarded the regiments the fourragère, a unit award given to units who distinguishing themselves more than once in combat. The Marines of 5th and 6th proudly wear the award today.
SOLDIER STORIES: Sharp lines, solemn occasion.
Today I put on my ASUs for the first time in a long time.
It was for the memorial service for the soldier who lost his life in Afghanistan. He was killed in action on his last mission, just a few weeks before his company returned to New Mexico. Yesterday’s redeployment ceremony was a scene of jubilation as families and loved ones welcomed back their soldiers from the nine-month tour down range, but today’s service gave us a solemn reminder of the fact that not everyone makes it home.
Held in the post chapel, we saw a photo montage of this young sergeant’s life (he was 23) and heard tributes from his battalion commander and company commander. The most emotional tribute was from a fellow sergeant who was serving with him when he died in Afghanistan. By all accounts, the man we lost was an optimistic, hard-working and enthusiastic man who was completely dedicated to his family and his comrades in arms. His loss was a tough one for us all.
Godspeed, Sergeant Wade. May you rest in peace.
Happy Humpday #soldierporn: Sensory overload.
F-22’s performing a flyover in missing man formation on Veteran’s Day, 2011. Punchbowl, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Hawaii.
(Video by Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz, 11 NOV 2011.)
[Not the best quality video, but if you’ve never witnessed a flyover before it’s worth a watch. -R]
Remember the fallen.
Old scars, faded memories.
The glint of smile in your eyes,
Blurred around the edges now.
But not forgotten, never that.
Burst of laughter, crushing hug,
The weight of your hand
Firm and steady, constant anchor.
With me always, even now.
Memorial, a story in ink.
Veteran Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Arbogast catches his breath during swim practice for the 2012 Warrior Games at Colorado Springs, Colorado.
(Photo by Sergeant Aaron Hostutler, 26 April 2012)
Two kinds of art.
A suicide bomber in Iraq injured Marine veteran Keith Buckmon, native of Capitol Heights, Md., in 2008, resulting in the complete reconstruction of both of his legs and his right arm using bone grafts and metal plates. Buckmon has also struggled with losing the Marines who died during the attack and battles the symptoms post-traumatic stress disorder every day. Now, Buckmon is an athlete in the 2013 Marine Corps Trials who competes in seated volleyball, wheelchair basketball, seated shot putt and discus and shooting. Buckmon says his wife and two daughters, Damaris Buckmon, Iz’Abella Amaris Buckmon and Jy’Zella-leilani Grace Clark, are his motivation to keep pushing to get better because he strives to be a good husband and father. Buckmon has a tattoo on his shoulder that depicts a Purple Heart medal and the date he was injured. The Trials is an opportunity for wounded Marines, veterans and allies to compete in wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, track and field, swimming, archery and shooting. The top 50 athletes will go on to compete against wounded warriors from the other branches of military service at the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., in May.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler L. Main)
With all due respect.
Capt. Kent Whalen, commanding officer of the aboard aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), and Command Master Chief Jeffrey Pickering, the ship’s command master chief, render hand salutes during a burial at sea for 20 former service members. Carl Vinson is underway conducting fleet replacement squadron carrier qualifications.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy A. Hazel, 26 FEB 2013.)
Thanks, old man. Happy birthday.
Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), participate in a Joint Armed Forces cordon during a wreath-laying ceremony at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Lincoln, who was born Feb. 12, 1809, was elected the 16th President of the United States of America in 1860. The ceremony was held in honor of Lincoln’s birthday.
(Photo by Sgt. Jose A. Torres Jr, 12 FEB 2013.)