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January 27, 2005

A day of prayers and tears

Yesterday, Marine families all over the world held their collective breath as they heard of the tragic helicopter crash which claimed the lives of thirty Marines and one Sailor who may have been a corpsman assigned to save their lives in case of injury. Thirtyone families are forever altered and our hearts and prayers reach out to them.

Twenty-seven of the Marines are from Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay. Marine brother Liam sends along this request:

I just wanted to ask if y'all could pray for my brother James and his marine brothers from Hawaii. They just lost 27 of their men and prayers are needed now more than ever. If you could pray for them that would mean the world to us.

The Oursler family sends along their condolences to the larger community of Marine families:

I can't find another website with which to send both my and my families condolences on the horrific crash which claimed twenty nine marines and one naval seaman. I am an army wife whose husband is serving his third tour. I have cried on and off all day and cannot imagine the sorrow your community must be feeling. God Bless you and your community: the wives, children, mothers and brothers, fathers and sisters and granparents who are greiving. It is beyond words and we are praying for you.

I know just how she feels - it's the same way Marine families felt when the Mosul dining tent was bombed. We all grieve together.

And, Major General Natonski, CG for 1MARDIV sent this message to the families of the troops under his command yesterday (thanks, Carrie):

The 26th of January 2005 was a tragic day for the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the 1st Marine Division. Thirty-one of our brothers in arms perished in a helicopter crash while conducting security and stabilization operations in the Al Anbar province. Although our mission is dangerous and we understand the risk associated with our task, losses of this magnitude remind us all of how fragile life is. Our Division has reflected on the sacrifice of these brave warriors and said a prayer for their families and friends. Although our hearts are burdened by this loss, we continue to march toward our goal of a free and democratic Iraq. We will honor their sacrifice with our deeds. The first free election in Iraqi history will occur in no small part due to the efforts of the members of the 1st Marine Division who have sacrificed for this historic day.

We also send our condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones from the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. We often talk about the Marine Corps being a family. Whenever a family loses one of itsí own, it comes together to find the strength and courage to persevere. Today we are not separated by unit, occupational specialty, or rank; but rather joined by the bonds forged of 229 years of brotherhood. Together we will carry on. We honor all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our nation.

May God bless all those who we have lost and the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and families of the 1st Marine Division.

Posted by Deb at January 27, 2005 12:47 PM

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