Green Berets Honor Their Fallen Warriors
FORT BRAGG, NC – Green Berets past and present along with family members, Soldiers and friends of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) gathered at Meadows Field Memorial Plaza to pay tribute and to honor the fallen warriors from within their ranks during a Memorial Day ceremony May 28.
The 44th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony for USASFC (A) and the Special Forces Association gave members from throughout the Special Forces community a chance to reflect, remember and praise the sacrifices that we made on their behalf by their fallen Green Berets.
"On this sacred day, we honor those Soldiers from our great Special Forces regiment who have died fighting for the freedom and liberty that we enjoy every single day," said Brig. Gen. Edward M. Reeder, Jr., commanding general of USASFC (A). "Today we honor those Green Berets from past and present whose tireless efforts, blood and sweat are directly responsible for the foundation of this great regiment and nation."
During his speech, Reeder emphasized importance of the occasion.
"There is no more important ceremony than the one we conduct today to honor our fallen Green Berets,” said Reeder. “We pause to remember and to think about the Special Forces Soldiers who fought and died providing hope to the hopeless and oppressed. We come not to mourn our fallen but to praise them. We will tell their stores to keep their memories alive."
Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie A. McCan, president of the Special Forces Association reiterated the importance of remembering those that have gone before us.
"Throughout the history and lineage of Special Forces and through all of the wars and those amazing battles some remembered and many forgotten then men from our most elite units recognized that their mission must continue," said McCan. "Our mission continues, yet again fighting nameless battles against committed foes. Fighting, bleeding and all too often dying so we can keep evil from threatening our Nation."
"For those that have fallen, their mission will be carried on the shoulders of those elite Soldiers that step up to take their places and serve as the last beacon of hope for all the world," said McCan.
With paying tribute to their fallen warriors, Reeder also pointed out the sacrifice borne by the family of the fallen.
"The Special Forces regiment is a family business and our Gold Star Families are every bit a part of our regiment. They are the foundation from which we serve," said Reeder. "We must strive for them, to assist them; to do for them what their fallen loved ones would have wanted. It takes a family to defend a Nation."
"The regiment’s heritage is forged in selfless service and this incredible sacrifice of our brothers in arms,” said Reeder. “We understand the importance of never forgetting those we have lost."
Even though most Americans use this day for cookouts and family events, Reeder mentioned the reality of the business and focus of being a Green Beret.
"War is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 day commitment from Green Berets deployed forward and I can guarantee that at this very moment there are at least 30 Special Forces Operational Detachment Alphas completing their final rehearsals and waiting for the hour of darkness to do bad things to bad people," said Reeder.
"They gave all they had to give and we owe our freedom, our happiness, our liberty, and the goodness in our lives in gratitude for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice," said Reeder. "The cost of freedom and independence is high but rest assured and sleep well at night knowing Green Berets stand ready to protect your liberties."