Memorial garden dedicated for families of the fallen

  • Published
  • By Capt. Pamela Stauffer
  • Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Public Affairs
Base members and civic leaders from here and the Delaware Valley attended a dedication ceremony May 31 to mark the opening of the Center for the Families of the Fallen here.

The ceremony opened with remarks by Delaware Senator Christopher Coons.

The ceremony also included presentation of a new Blue Star Memorial Marker to honor U.S. service members.

The symbol of the blue star, replicated from the World War II service flag, is prominently placed in the memorial garden.

The garden project required extensive coordination with Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, several months of planning and donations of more than $300,000 from private and corporate sources across the country.

"The vision for the garden would never have been possible without the phenomenal support of our hosts, Colonel Tony Krawietz and the 436th Airlift Wing, along with their sister wing, the 512th Airlift Wing, commanded by Col. Randy Bright." said Col. Thomas Joyce, the Air Force Mortuary Affairs commander.

The memorial garden is for use exclusively by visiting families to provide a peaceful and private landscaped area while they await the return of their fallen servicemember.

"The event was particularly moving for the loved ones attending the event who lost a servicemember." said Donna Curtis, the chair for the memorial garden project.

Representative E. Bradford Bennett presented a proclamation, and the ribbon-cutting event signified the opening of the memorial garden.

A tour of the garden finalized the ceremony.

"I had a feeling of elation seeing the memorial garden project completed on Dover Air Force Base," said Ms. Curtis. "It was the first time our club worked with the base on a project and the teamwork throughout the project, and end result made it a particularly nice day to be a federation club member."