CJTF-HOA service members honor fallen heroes in Memorial Day ceremony
Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa
Service members assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country during a Memorial Day ceremony here May 25, 2015.
More than 300 joint service members, including a joint-service platoon formation, attended the ceremony, which was officiated by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Mark Stammer, CJTF-HOA commander, and U.S. Navy Capt. Matthew O’Keefe, Camp Lemonnier commander.
“I am deeply honored to stand among you today, as we gather to remember and honor those who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Stammer.
The ceremony began with the CJTF-HOA joint service Honor Guard presenting the colors, followed by a moment of silence for the fallen.
The ceremony’s hallmark event included a presentation and display by the senior enlisted and senior officer of each service at CJTF-HOA who, together, approached one of the five podiums in front of the audience and placed their military branch’s service cap on it.
Completing the ceremony, junior enlisted members from each military service placed an item – Including battle armor, combat helmet, M-4 rifle, desert combat boots and dog tags, one-by-one – on a cross beside the service caps, honoring the Nation’s fallen warriors.
“I thank you, our nations’ latest generation of defenders, for joining me today to remember the fallen and to honor those families whose heroes have left us,” Stammer said. “We honor them in gratitude for the sacrifices they have endured and we honor their loved ones.”
After the ceremony concluded, a procession of dozens of service members lined up to individually pay their respects at the fallen warrior display.