Families of Fallen Soldiers Moved by Warriors Walk

Warriors Walk at Fort Stewart.
Warriors Walk at Fort Stewart.

A day of sorrow and pride for many families at Fort Stewart today. Commanders, fellow soldiers and loved ones paid their respects to 11 soldiers recently killed in Iraq.

Relatives took pictures of Sgt. Gene Lamie's 10-month-old son with his dad's memorial tree on Warriors Walk. His uncle Jerry Taylor, drove from Folkston to attend. "This young man was close to all of us. I needed to see him off," Taylor explained. "I needed to be here to support my sister."

Lamie was one of 11 soldiers remembered at a ceremony Thursday. "They each answered their country's call to duty, serving to protect what we hold dear," noted Lt. Col. Brian Gale, Third Infantry Rear Detachment commander.

One by one, soldiers from each hero's company unveiled markers in front of the tree planted in their memory. The eleven trees dedicated today bring the total number of memorials at Warriors Walk to 359.

Many were moved by a poem read during the ceremony.

On my honor, we will stand at the place where you rest and remember you.
On my honor, we will pick up the torch of freedom and carry it for you.
On my honor, you will not be a silent memory. We will speak of you often so the world will know what you've done.
On my honor, as you reach the gates of heaven you will hear the cries of a grateful nation as we will honor you.

Lamie's relatives say they were moved by the ceremony. "I wish the rest of America could do what they do to honor these soldiers. We buried Gene at Arlington and next to Arlington, this is the most sacred place I've seen," Taylor said.

Taylor says while his nephew's youngest son may not understand now, he hopes he and the rest of his generation appreciate the sacrifices remembered here.

Fort Stewart uses Warriors Walk to remember soldiers killed in Iraq who were either deployed with or temporarily assigned to the Third Infantry Division.

Reported by Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com