Soldiers' Memorial Dedicated Friday
Family members attend service honoring 11 soldiers who died in Afghanistan
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage-based 4-25th Airborne Brigade dedicated a memorial on Friday to the 11 soldiers who lost their lives over the course of an 10 month deployment. They were all part of the Spartan Task force in Afghanistan.
Family members were there for a dedication commemorating their sacrifice. Families from all over the nation arrived to say goodbye to their husbands, brothers, sons and friends on a chilly morning.
It was after 11 a.m., but the sun was just rising as Brian Ellis talked about his son, PFC Vincent Ellis. Vincent died in June. “There are good days and there are bad days,” Brian said. He said time is helping him heal, but sometimes a moment just strikes him, like when he was in line at the airport and he saw a family with a baby boy. “And I thought about when my boy was that age.” He said the thought made him start crying, there in line.
Brian was in the Navy and says he talked to his son about the worst that could happen. They talked about what they would do if he was badly injured: “You never think you’ll have to deliver on those promises,” he said. Brian said they moved around a lot when Vincent was a boy and one of the saddest things to him is extended family didn’t get to know Vincent well. He said the serious young man was also “a lot of fun to be around.”
Col. Morris Goins commanded the brigade -- like almost everyone in the room was touched by a sense of loss. In his speech, he quoted Washington Irving. “Tears are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief... and unspeakable love.”