Guam – Guam National Guard members remembered their fallen fellow servicemembers during a somber ceremony Friday marking the second anniversary of the Fallen Heroes Memorial at the Barrigada Army Readiness Center.
The ceremony was also attended by family members of the four Guam Guard Soldiers who had died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan. Fellow Soldiers, Airmen and civilian employees in the Guam Guard also joined in the commemoration.
The Soldiers honored during the ceremony were SGT Gregory Fejeran and SGT Christopher Fernandez, who both died during their deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa in 2007, and SGT Brian Leon Guerrero and SGT Samson Mora, who were killed in action in 2008 while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
CPT Sheila Compton Rivo, a platoon leader with Alpha Company, which deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, remembered the Soldiers in her speech during the ceremony.
[Guam Guard members line up to salute their fallen fellow Soldiers in front of the Fallen Heroes Memorial at the Barrigada Readiness Center. A ceremony was held to commemorate the four GUARNG Soldiers who died over the last five years, while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan. (GUNG Photo by CPT Ken Ola)]
“This memorial stands as a reminder to us, their brothers and sisters in arms, and the people of Guam, that SGT Brian Leon Guerrero, SGT Samson Mora, SGT Christopher Fernandez, SGT Gregory Fejeran, and the rest of your Guam National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, have proven their bravery and courage at home and abroad,” said Compton-Rivo.
MAJ Raymond V. Perez, who deployed with Fejeran and Fernandez to the Horn of Africa, also spoke and recalled personal anecdotes of his two fellow Soldiers while they were in country.
The memorial consists of a bronze inverted rifle display, atop a three-foot high latte stone pedestal. A large bronze plaque adorns the front side of the pedestal inscribed with the dedication of the memorial to the Guam Guard’s Fallen Heroes. On the left and right sides of the pedestal are two smaller bronze plaques with the names of each of the four fallen Guam Guard members.
The Latte Stone has become a traditional icon for Guam. It looks like a pillar capped by a hemispherical stone capital with the flat side facing up. The structure was used as building supports by the ancient island inhabitants, called Chamorros. These stone pillars are found throughout most of the Mariana Islands.