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Brig. Gen. Kelly Joins ANG Family in Remembrance

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Steve Wilkins
  • 145th AW Public Affairs
Charlotte Air National Guard Base - Family members, including those of recently honored aerial fire fighters with more than a thousand airmen of Charlotte's 145th Airlift Wing stood at stoic attention as Brig. Gen. D. Todd Kelly lay a wreath of remembrance during a solemn ceremony at the base's memorial garden here October 19.

Following a flyover of three C-130 Hercules, the aircraft used by the wing to accomplish its missions, Gen. Kelly said each of the 20 airmen being recognized "served proudly their communities and the state of North Carolina," and he thanked the families for supporting their loved ones throughout their Guard membership.

Gen. Kelly spoke of the annual ceremony's beginning in 1984 as a way to remember all airmen who had died in the year prior, whether current or past member, and how the idea blossomed into a memorial monument that has been nurtured and developed over the years. "The memorial belongs to the North Carolina Air National Guard family," he said.

Then he singled out families whose loved ones were lost in a crash this past July. Harkening the words of Governor Bev Perdue, he told the assembly of the mission the crew was flying to battle wild fires, and of their service in the Guard, he said; "They did it for their families, they did it for me, they did it for you, they did it for this nation."

The ceremony pronounces names of any Air Guard members deceased over the last twelve months to a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace," with Gen. Kelly calling the formation of airmen to attention for a twenty-one gun salute, then a bugler performing "Taps," evoked tears and obvious pain in many attendees from the remembrance of their lost.

In his closing remarks, Chaplain Lt. Col. Sandy Yow encouraged family members to rely on their faith in God for a restoration of peace in their lives.