Annual memorial service honors sacrifice of fallen veterans, Soldiers in the Pacific

| October 6, 2011 | 0 Comments
Thomas Jones, president, 25th ID Association, speaks at the annual 25th ID Association’s memorial service at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Oct. 2. (Courtesy of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Thomas Jones, president, 25th ID Association, speaks at the annual 25th ID Association’s memorial service at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Oct. 2. (Courtesy of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Sgt. Daniel K. Johnson
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

HONOLULU — Pins, patches, berets, medals and ribbons are all tokens of their sacrifice and remembrance; veterans of the 25th Infantry Division Association have all given of themselves to honor their country and the fallen who have fought for freedom.

For the members of the 25th ID Association, this event is an annual observance.

Veterans, Soldiers, family and friends all come to show their respect during a memorial service held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, here, Oct. 2.

One of the 25th ID veterans addressed the crowd, speaking only the 113 names of fallen veterans and Soldiers, their units and the wars they served in. These are the names of veterans of past wars and Soldiers of the Pacific who lost their lives this past year.

“It’s remembering their sacrifice,” said Gary Dittmer, president-elect, 25th ID Association. “Most Americans don’t serve, so it’s important to remember the veterans and active duty troops that are killed in action.”

Chaplain (Maj.) Florio Pierre, 25th ID, said a prayer and spoke of the sacrifices from Soldiers who volunteer to serve in America’s military.

Dittmer and Thomas Jones, president, 25th ID Association, then placed a wreath of flowers upon the monument.

“We come here to remember fallen comrades,” Jones said. “We know there are burials happening here about every week, and it is important to acknowledge our younger brothers who have given their lives.”

During the service, Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th ID, rendered an artillery salute in honor of the lives lost.

Taps was played.

“It’s moving, you know,” said Dittmer. “You’re not just remembering a name. It’s a Soldier, it’s a family and it’s a whole community.”

Jones personally knew some of the names he read aloud, and he had difficulty during his reading because he was overwhelmed with the significance of the sacrifice he was there to honor.

While the association honors its fallen comrades every year, during this memorial, members wanted to remind attendees of the service members who serve in the Pacific today.

“Not only the Army (serves in the Pacific),” said Jones. “The Navy, the Air Force and the Marine Corps (and Coast Guard) are all providing a service to this country. These are a minority of the population that we owe a debt of gratitude that I don’t know we can ever repay.”

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is open to the public, daily, for viewing of gravesites and memorials. More than 30 Medal of Honor recipients lay within the cemetery, and all of their gravesites are available for viewing.

The cemetery also contains a memorial pathway that is lined with a variety of memorials to honor America’s veterans from various organizations. As of 2008, 56 such memorials are throughout the cemetery, most commemorating Soldiers of 20th century wars, including those killed at Pearl Harbor.

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Category: Army Community Covenant, Community

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