43 Fallen Soldiers Honored at Warriors Walk - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/15/05

43 Fallen Soldiers Honored at Warriors Walk

This morning, another memorial service was held at Fort Stewart for the soldiers of the Third Infantry Division who were killed while serving our country in the Middle East. This was by far one of the biggest ceremonies they've ever had.

Dozens of loved ones gathered at Warriors Walk to remember the 43 soldiers killed over the past month while fighting the war against terrorism. While many tried their best to keep their composure, some wiped faces filled with tears, and others did their best to console those with broken hearts.

"There's an awful lot of families that have had a great loss, and my heart goes out to each and every one of them," said Vincent Gibbs, father of fallen Spc. Mathew Gibbs.

All along the new section of Warriors Walk, trees are planted as far as the eye can see. And while these markers stand as testament to who these soldiers were, one day so will their legacy, the children they left behind.

Chris Voyti, friend of the fallen Pfc. Hernando Rios, introduced us to his daughter, "Alyssa Rios, full of energy like her dad. I just wanted to make sure she was here for the ceremony."

And it's not just children and spouses having to say goodbye, but mothers and fathers burying their children, an extremely difficult thing for many parents to accept. But for Vincent Gibbs, being surrounded by others like himself gives him great comfort. "Mathew was a wonderful son," he said. "He was a wonderful father and he touched so many lives."

With so many gathered to remember their loved ones, it's ceremonies like these, some say, that help take away some of the pain, even if it's only for a little while.

"It was a nice ceremony, a great way to honor him and the other fallen soldiers," said Voyti

Fort Stewart holds these memorial ceremonies at Warriors Walk every third Thursday of the month. All are welcome to attend.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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