Some Gave All – Fallen Defenders Memorial (48th SFS)
3/7/2012 – ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England – — More than 250 Airmen, civilians, families and friends attended the Liberty’s Fallen Defenders Memorial Dedication Ceremony here to honor the memory of fallen 48th Security Forces Squadron members March 2, 2012.
The ceremony was held on the one year anniversary of the shooting incident at Frankfurt International Airport, Germany, in which one 48th Fighter Wing Airman lost his life and two others were wounded.
Inscribed on the stone pillar are the names of Senior Airmen Nicholas J. Alden and Jason D. Nathan. Alden was killed during the Frankfurt shooting while preparing to deploy to Afghanistan in March 2011 and Nathan was killed in action while deployed to Iraq in June 2007.
The pillar will serve as a memorial for all 48th SFS members who have fallen since 2001. It was made possible through monetary contributions amounting to more than $5,000. This amount was raised through various avenues including the Liberty Defenders Memorial 5K Run. Airman 1st Class Nikolas Kinder, 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron phase inspection section journeyman, ran in the 5K and placed third.
“I ran in the 5K to do my part for the fallen Liberty Defenders”, said Kinder. “It’s a good way to show our support for those that have given their lives in defense of our country.”
Lt. Col. Paul Cairney, 48th SFS commander, provided remarks on the purpose of the event.
“What we are actually doing here today is commemorating the anniversary of the attack on our team in Frankfurt, Germany, where we lost one member of our squadron and two were seriously wounded,” said Cairney. “It’s been a year-long effort to establish a memorial, a permanent memorial, here at [RAF] Lakenheath to remember the members of our squadron killed in combat since 2001.”
During the ceremony, two wreaths were laid for Alden and Nathan, followed by the reading of the Security Forces Prayer by Staff Sgt. Trevor Brewer, 48th SFS patrolman, an Airman who was on the bus in Germany.
Col. John Quintas, 48th Fighter Wing commander, closed the ceremony with a few words for the defenders in attendance.
“To each and every defender, you’re a rare breed. On a day-to-day basis you dedicate yourself to protecting our entire community and our assets. Defenders have a tradition of taking care of their own and this is what we witnessed a year ago,” said Quintas. “I will always remember with great pride how this unit got from the 2ndof March 2011 to the 2nd of March 2012 and how you established this incredible monument.”
by Senior Airman Tiffany M. Deuel
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
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