By MAUREEN ROSE
Gold Standard Acting Editor
Fort Knox paused Monday in a ceremony to remember all those who have fallen in battle, and in particular, to honor those Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, who have fallen in the unit’s two deployments from Fort Knox to Afghanistan.
The day’s honors included a wreath laying, special flag presentation to the Patton Museum, and a cannon salute to the flag.
An American flag, which was flown over Fort Knox earlier Monday, was folded by members of the Human Resources Command’s honor guard and will be on display at the General George Patton Museum of Leadership as a tribute to the 11 fallen Duke Soldiers.
In the Memorial Day address, Brig. Gen. Troy Kok, commander of the 11th Aviation Command, reminded the audience that Memorial Day was all too easy for many to forget in their pursuit of “All-American” traditions like picnics, swimming, boating or enjoying hamburgers, hot dogs and apple pie. Instead, the day should be a time to express gratitude to the Soldiers who give real meaning to the phrase “All-American.”
While many Americans struggle to find a meaningful way to thank veterans, Kok suggested sharing an act of kindness with those who serve is a thoughtful way to express gratitude. Further, he said, “Your support of our Soldiers is one of the most powerful weapons in the war against terrorism.”
Kok added that ceremonies of remembrance are something “we owe to our friends, neighbors and loved ones who died defending liberty and justice.”
Those who have been killed in action are best described by the historian Stephen Ambrose who explained the Soldiers of World War II; “They knew the difference between right and wrong, and they were unwilling to live in a world where wrong triumphed, and so they fought and they won, and we, and all succeeding generations, are the eternal beneficiaries of their sacrifice.”
He closed with the words engraved at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery where so many heroes are buried.
“Not for fame or reward, not for place or rank, not lured by ambition or goaded by necessity, but in simple obedience to duty as they understood it, these men suffered all, sacrificed all, dared all and died.”
A rifle volley in remembrance of the fallen was followed by the military’s time honored tradition, the playing of Taps.
The fallen 3-1 IBCT Soldiers who were honored at Monday’s ceremony were 1st Lt. Demetrius Frison, 1st Lt. Robert Welch III, Sgt 1st Class William Lacey, Staff Sgt. Nicanor Amper IV, Staff Sgt. Mecolus McDaniel, Sgt. Kristopher Gould, Sgt. James Harvey, Spc. Mikayla Bragg, Spc. Michael Elm, Spc. Joseph Kennedy, and Spc. Angel Lopez.