MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
A plaque commemorating all of the Combat Center Marines and sailors who have paid the ultimate price during combat operations since 2003, was dedicated by the Armed Services Young Men’s Christian Association to the Combat Center Feb. 21, 2011.
The plaque, engraved with the 149 names, was encircled by 149 national flags, one for each name on the monument.
“We wanted to give the Marines and sailors here a place to go to honor their fallen friends,” said Kelly Roybal, the special events coordinator at the ASYMCA. “This will be set out every military holiday [such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day], and they can come down and pay respects.”
The ASYMCA came up with the idea after attending a flag memorial ceremony in Cathedral City, Calif., dedicated to all the fallen servicemembers since 2003. The ASYMCA attendees also saw Combat Center Marines and sailors searching through the thousands of flags for the names of their friends. The ASYMCA members decided to help them narrow their search.
“We wanted to give the Marines here something local to come to honor their friends,” Roybal said.
The installation’s Young Marine Program attended the event and served as the color guard during the National Anthem and the Navy and Marines’ hymns.
The dedication was also to bring together those who fought alongside these service members, said Anita Neu-Fultz, the director of ASYMCA.
“This is just another way to honor our fallen. We wanted people to stop and think about the price they paid,” she said.