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Marines from 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, stand behind a monument paying tribute to Marines and sailors form the battalion who have died in combat since 1989 prior to a memorial service May 24. Speakers at the event stressed the importance of honoring fallen service members during Memorial Day, which occurred four days later, May 28.

Photo by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde

Fallen heroes honored at 2nd LAR Bn. memorial service

31 May 2012 | Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde

Marines and sailors with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, honored fellow Marines and sailors from the battalion who have died in combat since 1989 with a memorial service outside of the battalion’s headquarters building May 24.

Speakers at the event focused on the meaning of Memorial Day, which occurred four days later, May 28, and how the day is more than just an opportunity to enjoy a day off work to barbecue. They explained the importance of honoring service members who have died in combat on Memorial Day, such as 2nd LAR’s fallen heroes.

“As we approach Memorial Day and as we seek to remember our Marines in our memorial service today, let us be reminded that people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and faiths will be joined together to remember the sacrifices that our servicemen and servicewomen have made so that we can enjoy our freedom,” Navy Lt. Robert S. Spivey, chaplain of 2nd LAR Bn., said. “Those brave men and women, including the Marines listed on this memorial here, have made the ultimate sacrifice so that you and I can gather here today and remember.”

The battalion’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Patrick J. Keane, shared similar thoughts.

“Today we honor these men, these Marines and these sailors – our fallen, fellow destroyers who have given the full measure of sacrifice for their country, their unit, and most importantly, for each other,” Keane said. “My intent is only to remind myself and remind all of us to take this time this weekend, while enjoying well-deserved, well-earned time with family and friends, to think about and remember our brothers who can no longer spend that precious time with family and friends, and remember too, the family and friends who can no longer enjoy that time with their Marine or their sailor.

“For those closest to our fallen destroyers, the tears will never totally fade, but I believe it’s our obligation to them, whether we knew them well or didn’t know them at all, to think of them with smiling faces, to honor their commitment to each other and ensure that our conduct reflects our honor to them; and as importantly, to live every moment of our lives mindful that theirs were cut all too short.”

After the speakers finished, Sgt. Maj. Fortunato Rubio, sergeant major, 2nd LAR Bn., conducted a ceremonial roll call for the fallen Marines and sailors that went eerily unanswered.

“All gave some; some gave all,” Rubio said to those in attendance.

Finally, the memorial detail fired a three-shot volley as the Marines in formation stood at attention and rendered hand salutes to properly honor the fallen heroes of 2nd LAR Bn.