Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fort Drum dedicates memorial to the fallen

Above: Alex Jimenez, left, and Byron Fouty, front center, are part of the 10th Mountain Division in Iraq. Both are listed as 'Duty Status: Whereabouts Unknown', and there is no new word on the search for the two soldiers. Left: A yellow ribbon tied round a tree at Byron Fouty's former high school.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. — As a widespread search continues in Iraq for two of its missing soldiers, the 10th Mountain Division held a ceremony Friday to honor its war dead.

The ceremony was the first official event for the new Memorial Park, which features a 30-foot statute and a “Heroes Walk.” More than 60 relatives of soldiers killed fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and more than 500 soldiers, military officials and other guests attended.

“This park recognizes the sacrifices of the 10th Mountain Division soldiers who given their lives for us. It will be a place we meet frequently to remember them and to honor future sacrifices,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Oates, the division’s commander.

Since fighting began in 2003, 139 Fort Drum soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The ceremony came as Fort Drum awaits word about two soldiers still missing in Iraq following a May 12 ambush outside of Baghdad. The body of Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr. was found in the Euphrates River on Wednesday, and Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass., and Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich., remain missing.

Read the rest at Army Times