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November 20, 2018

A tribute to the valiant: New York’s military losses to remember this Memorial Day

May 28, 2018
Sgt. Roshain Brooks, 30, was killed in action by a mortar in Iraq on August 13, 2017. Both were in the 82nd Airborne Division. (Provided)

Onward marches the Big Parade, forever into the somber beyond. A column of the young and the brave. Of the dutiful.

When Duty whispers low, Thou must, The youth replies, I can!
– Emerson




Pictured here this Memorial Day are the soldiers from New York State whose line-of-duty deaths in Iraq were recorded since last Memorial Day.

Called by duty, gone to war. Gone to flowers.

On this day, we pause to mourn them — and all those who did not come home from the battlefields.

FDNY Fire Marshal Christopher "Tripp" Zanetis was among the seven service members killed when their military helicopter crashed in Iraq.
FDNY Fire Marshal Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis was among the seven service members killed when their military helicopter crashed in Iraq. (New York National Guard)

The dead of this war.

The dead of the last war.

The dead of all past wars.

To honor their sacrifices. To humbly offer them our gratitude and our prayers. To assure their loved ones that we, the living, do not forget.

Christopher Raguso, a New York Air National Guard Flight Engineer, was one of the seven service men killed in a helicopter crash in Western Iraq on March 15, 2018.
Christopher Raguso, a New York Air National Guard Flight Engineer, was one of the seven service men killed in a helicopter crash in Western Iraq on March 15, 2018. (Facebook)

Cannot forget. Must not forget.

These men fell in Iraq, adding to the toll of more than 4,500 Americans since the war started 15 years ago. While the war against Saddam is long over, the fight against ISIS has yet to finish.

And that other war, the war in Afghanistan, is also said to be over, yet 15,000 American warriors are still there.

Others fight and risk and give their lives elsewhere — Syria, Yemen, Niger and battlefields unnamed and unknown — in a shadow war, unconventional, undeclared, but every bit as real.

Captain Andreas O'Keeffe was among the seven service members killed when their military helicopter crashed in Iraq.
Captain Andreas O’Keeffe was among the seven service members killed when their military helicopter crashed in Iraq.

Without the gallant likes of these soldiers the horrors visited upon the United States one lovely late summer morning almost 17 years ago might well already have come again.

The measure of these wars, as with all the wars this nation has fought, will be taken by the children.

Your children. Our children. And their children.




And those whose loved ones are remembered here today.

Staff Sgt. Dashan Briggs, 30, was killed in a helicopter crash in western Iraq on Thurs. March 15, 2018.
Staff Sgt. Dashan Briggs, 30, was killed in a helicopter crash in western Iraq on Thurs. March 15, 2018. (Department of Defense)

Loved ones who now march in the Big Parade. Loved ones who now live on eternally, in the aching hearts left behind.

Here, on another Memorial Day, in fields of flowers, we salute and celebrate our unforgotten.

They who donned the uniform and wore it dutifully while they lived.

They who will surely wear it proudly for all the rest of time.

Forevermore. As the Big Parade marches on, into the beyond.




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