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Lejeune memorial honors Marines slain in Afghanistan

Posted April 30, 2010
Updated May 1, 2010

— Camp Lejeune held a memorial service Friday morning to honor 90 Marines and sailors who died while spearheading the first wave of troops sent to Afghanistan by President Barack Obama.

The memorial brought together families of the fallen members of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade from across the country. The unit, which is headquartered at Camp Lejeune, returned home in early April after a yearlong deployment.

"War is not cheap. War is expensive," their commander, Brigadier Gen. Larry Nicholson, said.

Camp Lejeune Afghanistan memorial Fallen Marines, sailors remembered

An officer called the name of each fallen service member and their date of death as another Marine dropped the deceased's dog tags onto a standing rifle. Pictures of the fallen and empty boots stood next to the rifles, and camouflaged helmets hung from them.

Afterward, families of the fallen gathered the dog tags and pictures.

"These are real lives. These are real Marines and sailors. These are real young men and women that have paid the ultimate sacrifice," Nicholson said.

Lt. Rob Johnson said it was tough remembering those who didn't make it home safely as he did.

"As I got ready this morning, I had to prepare myself mentally and spiritually to deal with the stress of being here and think it through," Johnson said.

The unit's 10,000 members were part of the first wave of 17,000 additional troops that Obama ordered to Afghanistan last spring. They served in the Helmand Province, which also saw intense fighting as the president ordered a second, larger wave of troops to fight the Taliban last fall.

Military officials said that the Marines partnered with Afghani and NATO forces in "a highly successful campaign" against the Taliban and other insurgents.

"These Marines did not die in vain," Nicholson said. "They died for something greater than themselves. They died for something that generations will remember."


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  • skidkid269 May 3, 2010

    Semper Fi, Brothers. Rest well. Guard the gates of Heaven.

  • mea1001mea May 3, 2010

    Guide your child toward college instead of military - Help spare them from senseless war for profit that continues from one fearless leader to the next... try infowars.com

  • webberx101 May 3, 2010

    “The first thing we need to do is end this war,” Obama said. - October 2, 2007 - Chicago Sun-Times - Sadly... Nothing Changed - http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/583930,obama100107.article

  • oldrwizr Apr 30, 2010

    Another sad monument erected in George W. Bush's shameful dishonor.

  • ranquick Apr 30, 2010

    From a Fellow Shipmate and Veteran, thank you for your Service, God Bless your friends and family who have also paid the hight cost of Freedom. "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE" and we owe alot to these young men and women who gave their lives to keep us safe.

  • BEB-FootballMOM Apr 30, 2010

    Bless the families and friends of these brave men & women fallen for the sake of freedom !!!!

  • NavySrChiefswife Apr 30, 2010

    God Bless all our fallen soldiers and sailors. You will never be forgotten.

    God Bless the families of these service members.

  • Adelinthe Apr 30, 2010

    So sad, but such is the price of right and freedom.


    Until we meet again.

    God bless.


  • IBleedRedandWhite Apr 30, 2010

    For these brave young men, most of them in their early twenties making decisions most of us hope we never have to make, we thank you for your service and your ultimate sacrifice. We thank the families for allowing your loved ones to serve and our prayers are with you for your loss. Know that they did not die in vain, but for the freedom and the rights we dearly love and cherish in this great country. "All gave some, but some gave all." Semper Fi.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Apr 30, 2010

    Let us never forget them...