MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines and sailors entered the somber theater by the dozens. Each was prepared to pay their last respects to eight of their fallen brothers during the memorial service held by 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division at the base theater aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 24.
Seaman Riley Gallinger-long, Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian K. Lundy, Lance Cpls. Travis M. Nelson, Terry C. Wright, Franklin N. Watson, Scott D. Harper, Christopher P. Levy and Cpl. Phillip D. Mcgeath all made the ultimate sacrifice fighting alongside their fellow Marines and sailors while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom
The families of the fallen, each shedding tears of sorrow were far from alone in their mourning as the number of attendees reached close to 1000. A select few of the Marines and sailors closest to the fallen heroes took the stage to share their fond memories of their close friends and brothers-in-arms during the service.
“I will always remember Terry for the person he was and not the things he did or didn’t do,” said Lance Cpl. Morris, speaking on behalf of Lance Cpl. Terry C. Wright. “He was a caring and truly funny person, who loved dogs and loved to be around them. We would always make time to go to the park and play with the dogs. Terry is with us all in spirit and is ever-present in our minds. We will always remember the good and bad times because those moments brought us all closer as a family and as brothers. I know wherever he is now; terry is surrounded by good people and a pack of playful dogs.”
After the last friend of the fallen stepped down from the stage, the battalion’s commanding officer took the podium and expressed his gratitude for the presence of the families of the fallen Marines and sailors as well as his grief felt at the loss of the eight heroes who gave their lives.
“It is impossible to remove the sadness of their deaths, but we cannot forget the obligation their sacrifice gives us.” said Lt. Col. George Benson, battalion commander of 1st Bn., 6th Marines. “We are obligated to live meaningful and purposeful lives. The richer and more meaningful our lives; the more meaningful and profound their sacrifice. We will never forget them. We will honor them above all other Americans and we will teach our children to do the same. We will earn what they have given us.”
The service came to a close as the final roll call was sounded for each of the fallen warriors. Each name called was accompanied by a solemn bell toll and following the final bell, the service ended with the playing of Taps.