Fort Lewis May Not Merge Memorials

Fort Lewis May Not Merge Memorials
June 6th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: Fort Lewis May Not Merge Memorials

Fort Lewis May Not Merge Memorials
Seattle Times
June 6, 2007 By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times staff reporter
Fort Lewis commanders have made no final decision on how to proceed with memorial services for fallen soldiers, whose numbers have risen sharply in recent weeks amid combat operations in Iraq.
Joe Piek, a Fort Lewis spokesman, said Tuesday that all options remain under consideration, including individual, group or monthly memorial services.
Last month, the post appeared to have decided to shift to a monthly memorial service.
"As much as we would like to think otherwise, I am afraid that with the number of soldiers we now have in harm's way, our losses will preclude us from continuing to do individual memorial ceremonies," wrote the post's acting commander, Brig. Gen. William Troy, in a May 22 memorandum, which was first made public on the Web site of United For Peace, Pierce County, a peace activist group.
Though the Fort Lewis remembrances are in addition to memorials held in Iraq and the hometowns of the soldiers, the policy shift touched a nerve among some members of the post community who did not want to see memorials consolidated.
In May, Fort Lewis lost 20 soldiers in the biggest month of losses for the Washington post since the war began.
On Tuesday, Fort Lewis held a group memorial service for four of the soldiers who died in May: Staff Sgt. David. Kuehl, 27; Staff Sgt. Kristopher Higdon, 25; Cpl. Mathew LaForest, 21; and Pfc. Robert Worthington, 19.
"The painstaking memory of their loss shall never be erased," said Maj. Chad Sundem, of the 4th Brigade 2nd Infantry Division. "For today we honor them, for today we are all better soldiers, better friends, and better citizens for what they inspired in us. And, as we go about our days ahead, I can only pray that we honor all of them equally ... as they honored us."

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