Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Amended post: Honoring those who served and those who have died

I seem to be spending a lot of time in Colonie lately. Last night, I attended the unveiling of the new veteran's memorial at The Crossings, a large and well-used park there. The Blue Star Mothers, some pictured here, were among the groups invited to lay a wreath.

Several of the Blue Star Mothers were back there today to meet with Times Union reporter Tim O'Brien. The TU will do a piece about the America Supports You Freedom Walk scheduled for September 11, also at The Crossings. Look for the article to run on Tuesday, September 8.

According to a Department of Defense press release:

The America Supports You Freedom Walk is a national tradition that calls on people to reflect on the lives lost on September 11, 2001, remember those who responded, honor our veterans past and present, and renew our commitment to freedom and the values of our country. Each year the number of walks held throughout the nation grows, as more people are moved to participate.

The tradition was born when Pentagon employees, seeking a way to honor the victims of the attack on the Pentagon and their families, and pay tribute to those who responded to that attack as well as those who serve, organized a walk from the Pentagon to the National Mall. Nearly 15,000 people took part. Now, America Supports You Freedom Walks are taking place in communities across the nation.

And while we are honoring those who have served, please read this from Fort Drum:

FORT DRUM, NY -- A 10th Mountain Division Soldier from Fort Drum was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle Aug. 20 in Wardak Province, Afghanistan.

The Fort Drum Soldier killed is Spec. Justin R. Pellerin, 21, of Boscawen, N.H.

Spec. Pellerin served as an infantryman with the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). He deployed with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team in January in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Spec. Pellerin joined the Army in June 2007 and arrived to Fort Drum in September 2007. He is survived by his wife, mother, and step-father.

Spec. Pellerin's awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and NATO Medal.

New York State Flags will be flown at half-staff on Friday, Aug. 28 in honor of Spec. Pellerin.
Rest in peace, Spec. Pellerin.