Trees for the Fallen Dedicated at Fort Stewart - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/16/05

Trees for the Fallen Dedicated at Fort Stewart

Thirteen Third ID soldiers have been killed in Iraq since they were deployed in January. Today, fellow soldiers and family members gathered at Fort Stewart in Hinesville to honor many of them.

On days like today, the rain almost seems appropriate. The families of fallen soldiers huddled together under a tent for the special dedication of dogwood trees that will live and grow in each soldier's memory.

Sgt. Daniel Torres was killed in a bombing attack on February 4, his family drove from Ft. Worth, Texas, to be here. After the ceremony, his aunt Beatrice Saldivar placed rose petals around his tree.

"If there's faith, if there's heaven, then he knows we are here with him that we never let him alone," she said.

Before Sgt. Torres deployed, he brought his family to this same row of trees. "He told them about the trees and gave them a tour," Saldivar said. "He said these trees represent the soldiers that have died but at the same time he told them to be realistic, there's a lot of us that are not coming back."

But his smile, all the good times the family shared, they will live on.

Sgt. Torres will also live on in another way. A week before the bombing, his fiance told him she was pregnant.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly