FORTBRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, May 25, 2009) - A bell rang out after the name of each departed Green Beret Soldier’s name was read aloud in memory of their time honored commitment and service. The U.S. Army Special Forces Command and Special Forces Association 41st Memorial Day Ceremony paid homage to the fallen Special Forces Soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Amid a somber, but meaningful atmosphere, the ceremony was addressed by Brig. Gen. Michael S. Repass, commanding general of USASFC (A), with words of heartfelt personal remembrance and encouragement for family, friends and comrades of the fallen Soldiers.
“To each of you here today, I wish you warm greetings and heartfelt thanks as we remember the names of our fallen active duty Special Forces Soldiers and those past operators who have passed in the recent year”, said Repass.
Also during his remarks, Repass expressed appreciation for the duties of the Soldiers.
“Today, America pauses to express their gratitude for the selfless and valued members of our armed forces for their services to our great nation,” said Repass. “Downtown Fayetteville is ablaze with American flags that stand in silent and solemn acknowledgement for fallen soldiers from various conflicts, it is an outstanding sight.”
“This plaza and its monuments of the bronze wall of names are our special place,” he continued.
Repass concluded that although the fallen might be gone, they will not be forgotten.
“The names increase each year, the older ones are a bit tarnished, but the names remain vibrant in our minds, undiminished by time.” Repass “Touching their names and seeing them in our minds, we remember them as they were, in honor of their lives, service, and sacrifice.”
The address of Repass and Mr. Ronnie McCan, President of the Special Forces Association were followed by the traditional placing of a wreath and raising a salute in honor of the fallen 23 Special Forces Command Soldiers and 97 Special Forces Association Members.
All stood at attention while the “Ballad of the Green Beret” played to conclude the ceremony.