News: Fallen service members honored by Iraqi police
Story by Pfc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile
KIRKUK, Iraq - A few days after the United States honored fallen service members throughout history, Kirkuk Iraqi policemen honored nearly 40 U.S. service members, who were killed in the Kirkuk province since the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lt. Col. Daniel Cormier, commander of the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 'Battle Boars' 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, out of Fort Stewart, Ga., and more than 30 Kirkuk Iraqi policemen held a Memorial Day observance ceremony at the Kirkuk IP Headquarters, June 2.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Jamal Thaker Bakr, provincial police chief of Kirkuk IP and Cormier unveiled a U.S. forces Wall of Remembrance, which displays photos, of fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Each photo was labeled with the date they were killed and the brigade they were assigned to.
The memorial is located in the main hallway of the Kirkuk IP Headquarters.
After the unveiling of the wall, Soldiers and IP stood for the remainder of the ceremony.
"We want to show our respect for the fallen," Jamal said. "Throughout the ceremony everyone stood in silence."
Jamal then spoke of why the Kirkuk IP decided to dedicate the wall to their U.S. partners.
"The IP of Kirkuk wanted to honor the fallen U.S. heroes who fought next to our policemen and soldiers for Iraq's freedom, which is why we dedicate this wall in their honor," said Jamal, during his speech at the ceremony.
"We thank all of the U.S. forces for our freedom, and we want to recognize those who made this possible," he continued.
"On behalf of the Families of these fallen servicemembers, I thank the IP of Kirkuk for recognizing these U.S. heroes," Cormier, a Nashua, N.H., native said.
Cormier also said he thought the wall was very appropriate for Memorial Day.
"These Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines made the ultimate sacrifice for Kirkuk and to be recognized by the IP, so close to Memorial Day, shows just how appreciative they are for the freedom they now possess," he said.