07 March 2008

The Fallen are Honored in Historic Ceremony 6 Mar 2008

On 6 March, John Wroblewski, along with USMC Major General Kelly, and PSD Company of the 2-8 Marines performed a historic ceremony honoring 2Lt. J.T. Wroblewski and ten other Marines, and a Navy Corpsman, at the exact site in Ramadi where these brave men lost their lives on 6 April 2004. The list of the fallen is as follows: LCPL Benjamin Carman, LCPL Marcus Cherry, PFC Christopher Cobb, LCPL Kyle Crowley, PFC Deryk Hallal, PFC Ryan Jerabek, PFC Moises Langhorst, LCPL Travis Layfield, HM3 Fernandez Mendez, LCPL Anthony Roberts, SSGT Allan Walker, and 2nd Lt J.T. Wroblewski. This visit is (to my knowledge) the first time that a Gold Star parent has ever performed a ceremony to honor the loss of their son or daughter at the exact site in Iraq where their offspring were KIA. By honoring these heroes, we seek only to bring attention to the fact that those who have fallen in battle must not be forgotten. On the contrary, to forget their sacrifice is to forget that they bravely volunteered, fought and died to defend the very liberties that we freely enjoy in the U.S.

After reading aloud the names of the fallen, a red shirt was ceremoniously placed atop the wall next to where J.T. fell that terrible day. John led the Marines in prayer, after which, Major General Kelly said a few words in tribute to those who perished that day. John then thanked the General and his Marines for helping to make our difficult quest possible. John then requested that the Marines offer an "Ooh-Rah!" for their fallen comrades, which they shouted loudly. The cheer echoed through the narrow alley, and faded away into the palm grove and houses that surrounded us. USMC Combat cameraman Cpl Angel and I recorded the event through photographs and video, and the Marines also took photographs of the memorial site.

As you can imagine, this was a very emotional day for both John and the Marines involved in getting us to this site. We offer our sincere thanks to Major General Kelly and the 2-8 Marines for enabling us to complete our quest during our second embed assignment.

****ADDITIONAL INFO- Posted 28 May 2008 - FOX News (www.foxnews.com) broadcast this historic story using my still images and Cpl Angels' video during a Memorial Day special on 26 May 2008 .*****


Anonymous said...

What an extremely moving memorial service! I sat here and cried and felt as if I were there, too. Thanks Greg for your determination that this mission was accomplished! A big thank you to all involved! I am so proud to be an American & I am so proud and thankful for all of our brave young men and women! Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Mom says it best. Again, congrats on completing your quest. Now get home safely so we can go camping!

Your little brother,