Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Marines, sailors and distinguished guests with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, gathered together at the battalion headquarters aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, for a memorial service, May 21, 2014.
The service was held to memorialize and honor fallen brothers in arms, friends and family of the 2nd LAR community.
U.S. Navy Lt. Scott Shively, the battalion chaplain for 2nd LAR, said that the Marines were being remembered for their courage, discipline and warrior mentality.
“Warrior, champion, one who fights for another or for a cause. We’re all here as champions today. Marines know something about being champions because of their core values; the things upon which this institution stands,” said Shively.
Lieutenant Col. Anthony Bango, commanding officer of 2nd LAR, said that the service is a very important ceremony held every year to honor the Marines whose names or on the memorial stone in front of the battalion headquarters.
Shively said that the fallen warriors, whether they knew it or not, gave their lives in defense of their country and way of life, meaning liberty and freedom with justice for all.
Shively reminded personnel at the service to not only remember these fallen LAR Marines, but to keep the memory of all fallen service members throughout the Memorial Day weekend.
“As we take this time to remember these men from our battalion, as we come to the beginning of this next week in our country, and as we celebrate memorial day, we will memorialize those who have given their lives to defend our orders and our way of life,” said Shively.
After a few words from Shively, Bango began to read a letter that he believed to capture feelings that people often have when trying to eulogize or memorialize close friends or family. The letter was from Abraham Lincoln to a mother of five fallen heroes.
“I pray that [you] may be assuaged the anguish of your bereavement, and left only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.”
It is letters such as this, along with the Marine Corps’ illustrious history that Shively believes Marines, sailors and guests need in order to always remember those who have fallen and what they’ve fallen for.
“If we don’t discipline ourselves to remember what it is we fight for, then we stand to lose all that these men gave their lives for, and their lives will have been given in vain,” said Shively. “Today our job is to remember and to honor their courage, their commitment and to never forget.”
Bango left those at the ceremony with final condolences.
“I’ve realized that there is very little that I can do to help a grieving family, so I offer this, just a humble, sincere and solitary salute in memory of our fallen,” said Bango.
Following Bango’s final remarks and a roll call of fallen Marines by Sergeant Maj. Kenneth Bohn, sergeant major of 2nd LAR, the memorial detail rendered a three-shot volley, concluding the service with Taps.