Sunday, July 01, 2007

Meresebang Ngiraked laid to rest

PALAU -- Full military honors were bestowed upon a Palauan son who died last month while fighting in the war on terror.

Two family services and a state funeral were held yesterday for U.S. Army Cpl. Meresebang Ngiraked, 21, of Koror. He is the 22nd serviceman from the Micronesia region to die in the ongoing war. To date, 23 from the region have been killed.

The funerals were attended by several dignitaries, including President Tommy Remengesau. "Your family and friends are so proud of you, and the nation of Palau will never forget what you did. You are a real man," he said during the state funeral held at the Palau National Gymnasium.

He added that Palau will continue to send its sons and daughters to the U.S. Armed Forces to "defend our freedom, our peace, our world."
Ngiraked and two other men were killed June 10 in Karbala, Iraq, when an explosive device blew up the vehicle they were in. They were assigned to Battery B, 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, which deployed to Iraq earlier this year.

Since joining the Army in September 2004, Ngiraked garnered several awards, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

Maj. Gen. Donald Goldhorn, adjutant general for the Guam National Guard, presented the medals to Ngiraked's mother and father during yesterday's ceremony. The Palau National Congress also presented the family with a resolution highlighting Ngiraked's accomplishments.

Remarii Ngiraked referred to his brother as his best friend, adding that he had never met anyone as courageous and disciplined as his brother.

He also thanked his parents and grandparents for raising the two of them despite all the struggles and hardships they had to endure growing up. He ended by saying that Meresebang will forever remain in their hearts.

His father, John Ngiraked, Jr., spoke about life as a parent of a soldier. He said that when his son's body arrived Friday night, Goldhorn had told him, "Your son is home."

The father said, "Yes, my son is home, but in a better home than this one."

A family funeral was held yesterday morning in Ngerbeched, followed by the state funeral. Another family funeral service was then held in Ngerang, Melekeok, before the burial at the Techobei Cemetery in Melekeok.

From the Pacific Daily News

Related Link:
Meresebang Ngiraked dies 'of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device'