By Norman Shifflett | Fort Carson Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Soldiers, Family and community members came together at the Mountain Post Warrior Memorial in Kit Carson Park for the Mountain Post Warrior Memorial Ceremony May 27, 2021, to honor Fort Carson service members who have died in overseas operations.
Since 2004, Fort Carson has commemorated service members from the Mountain Post who have lost their lives fighting in support of overseas contingency operations since 2003, with the exception of last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A total of 407 names of fallen military service men and women are inscribed on the memorial stones. Last year, two Fort Carson Soldiers’ names were added to the memorial, both Green Berets assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne): Master Sgt. Micheal B. Riley and Sgt. Maj. James G. Sartor.
“Both of these heroes made the ultimate sacrifice during a crucial time in our nation’s longest war, paving the pathway to a negotiated settlement and the ultimate departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan,” said Maj. Gen. Matthew W. McFarlane, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson. “Their sacrifice and the sacrifice of 2,310 other Soldiers in Afghanistan have prevented another calamity from occurring on our soil.”
Following the keynote address, McFarlane and Command Sgt. Maj. Adam Nash, senior enlisted adviser, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, laid a wreath at the memorial with two carnations to symbolize the fallen Soldiers.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Gold Star Families followed by the rest of those present were invited to come forward to pay their respects at the memorial.
In addition to honoring the fallen, a Gold Star Flag will be installed in the Soldiers’ Memorial Chapel.
“In an effort for the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson to honor, pray for and to support our Gold Star Families today, we will install the Gold Star flag permanently in our Soldiers Memorial Chapel,” said McFarlane. “A flag first used to signal to members of the community the price the Family had paid in the cause of freedom and convey the honor and glory deserving of the Soldiers’ sacrifice.”
The Mountain Post Warrior Memorial consists of nine stones including the names of fallen Fort Carson Soldiers, and a 10th stone in the center displays a quote from former President George W. Bush. The quote was taken from his address to a joint session of Congress Sept. 20, 2001.
“We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail,” Bush said.