Soldiers from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command paid tribute to America’s fallen heroes during multiple Memorial Day events May 21 throughout the KMC.
Maj. Gen. John R. O’Connor, 21st TSC commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney J. Rhoades, 21st TSC senior enlisted adviser, laid a wreath of red and white flowers in front of a memorial site dedicated to 34 fallen 21st TSC Soldiers during an afternoon Memorial Day ceremony on Panzer Kaserne.
At the start of the ceremony, the American flag flying over Panzer Parade Field was raised from half-staff to full-staff precisely at the noon, a military custom which signifies the uplifting of memory by those paying tribute to more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service to this country.
“On Memorial Day, we pause to honor the brave men and women who gave their lives in defense of something greater than self,” O’Connor said. “Words cannot fully discharge our solemn obligation to them, so we gather to pay tribute and offer our humble blessings.”
Standing quietly before the memorial site, O’Connor and Rhoades rendered a salute while a narrator read the names of the 34 fallen Team 21 heroes who lost their lives while defending the nation. A three-round cannon salute followed by the playing of taps concluded the ceremony.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of Soldiers from various 21st TSC subordinate brigades gathered on Rhine Ordnance Barracks for a sunrise run inspired by Memorial Day.
“American Soldiers have a sacred bond with brothers and sisters in arms who served before them, who built a great institution with courage, their sacrifice, their devotion and something greater than themselves,” Rhoades said. “They defended the values we live by with all they have.”