Camp Lincoln Remembers Fallen Servicemembers Print
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Sgt. Charlie Helmholt, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Monday, 06 May 2013 14:39

SPRINGFIELD, IL (05/06/2013)(readMedia)-- Two events to honor fallen servicemembers and recognize their families for their sacrifice were held at Camp Lincoln in Springfield May 4. The Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony honored fallen servicemembers and Connections in the Capital focused on fallen servicemembers' surviving family and friends.

The Illinois National Guard hosted these separate events in an effort to convey both sympathy for the losses military families have endured and facilitate their ability to carry on.

The Illinois National Guard Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony paid homage to 34 Illinois National Guard members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and way of life after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Alternatively, Connections focused on coping with loss and facilitating relationships between servicemembers' surviving family and friends.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Krumrei of Springfield, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, attended both ceremonies, welcoming families to the installation and thanking them for their sacrifices.

"On behalf of Governor Quinn, on behalf of the Soldiers, Airmen, families, myself and my staff, welcome and I pray you peace in your journey of healing," said Krumrei.

Krumrei laid a wreath at the Fallen Soldiers Memorial Ceremony and offered all of Camp Lincoln's resources to the families of fallen servicemembers.

During the ceremony the names of lost Illinois Army and Air National Guardsmen were read aloud and a wreath and rose laying ceremony took place shortly after the reading.

"Every day is a memorial day for us so it does bring back some of the pain, but knowing that the Guard still remembers them and honors them warms our hearts and gives us great hope that they will never be forgotten," said Linda Grieco of Winfield, the mother of Staff Sgt. Kevin D. Grieco who was killed in action during Operation Enduring Freedom Oct. 27, 2008.

Illinois Connections for Families of the Fallen is a less somber occasion, designed initially from feedback of surviving family members after attending events like the Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony, in that they had felt alone in dealing with the emotions that arose during those services.

"I think one of the great ideas of Connections is that we all get to meet each other. We get to share our experiences. We get to share our laughter and we get to share our tears together," said Jim Frazier of Woodstock, whose son, Illinois Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Jacob Frazier was killed in Operation Enduring Freedom March 29, 2003.

Connections brings together a myriad of local and national organizations whose mission is to connect families of the fallen servicemembers to resources to help find their new normal.

Krumrei summed up the day's events with quotes from Abraham Lincoln who famously declared those who died in the service of their nation should be remembered and should never die in vain.

"I offer you (the) hope and promise that the understanding that a new normal is never normal, but it can be better than what was," Krumrei said.

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