US Troops Mark Memorial Day in Iraq, Afghanistan

Soldiers honor fallen comrades
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2011 9:22 AM CDT
US soldiers place lit candles as they gather to mark Memorial Day at the US Army Corps of Engineers' headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, May 29, 2011.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
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(Newser) – US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan remembered their fallen comrades in Memorial Day services nearly a decade after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that sparked the Afghanistan war. In that country, dawn flag-raising ceremonies honored the more than 1,400 who have been killed, the AP reports. "We reflect on those who have gone before us. We reflect on their service and their sacrifice on behalf of our great nation," said a Marine commander. "We should also remember those serving today who embody that same commitment of service and sacrifice."

In Kabul yesterday, those serving at the US Army Corps of Engineers’ headquarters enjoyed one of five days off they get per year, before holding a remembrance ceremony as Black Hawk helicopters flew overhead. "While we were playing volleyball today, no doubt some soldier gave the ultimate sacrifice," the corps commander said. Some, like Maj. Erica Iverson, gave personal recollections. She got choked up while recounting the death of Staff Sgt. Adam Dickmyer. "His wife has an empty house," she said. "His entire unit came home today, and he didn't come with them." (Read more Memorial Day stories.)

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