Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Seven British fallen heroes return home

On this day when seven of our British fallen heroes are returning home, I found the following comment on FaceBook earlier:

Two planes landed in England yesterday, One brought back a group of overpaid, underachieving footballers. The other brought back seven coffins, each with the Union Jack draped over them. Footballers play for our country, soldiers FIGHT for our country. Footballers give ninety minutes, soldiers... ...give their lives. I know who I respect more. (H/T Al)

From the BBC:

Bodies of servicemen killed in Afghanistan return to UK

The bodies of seven British servicemen killed in Afghanistan have been returned to the UK.

L/Cpl David Ramsden, Colour Sgt Martyn Horton, Pte Alex Isaac and Pte Douglas Halliday died when their vehicle fell into a canal in the Helmand province.

And Sgt Steven Darbyshire, L/Cpl Michael Taylor and Marine Paul Warren, all of 40 Commando Royal Marines, were killed by enemy action last week.

The bodies were repatriated at RAF in Lyneham in Wiltshire.

Marine Paul Warren; L/Cpl Michael Taylor;  Sgt Steven Darbyshire

The commanding officer of 40 Commando said they would prevail

A private ceremony was held at the base before the cortege passed through the nearby town of Wootton Bassett.

Thousands of mourners - soldiers, shopkeepers and well-wishers - lined the high street to pay their respects to the fallen men.

Family members placed flowers on top of the hearses as they paused for a minute's silence next to the town's war memorial, which was covered with more floral tributes.

With the death of a bomb disposal expert announced on Monday, a total of 20 servicemen have now died in June.

Pte Alex Isaac, L/Cpl David Ramsden, Colour Sgt Martyn Horton, Pte  Douglas Halliday
The soldiers were travelling to help at a nearby checkpoint when they died

L/Cpl Ramsden, 26, from Leeds, Col Sgt Horton, 34, from Runcorn, Cheshire, Pte Isaac, 20, from the Wirral, Pte Halliday, 20, from Wallasey, Merseyside, and Sgt Darbyshire, 35, from Wigan, were all killed on 23 June.

L/Cpl Taylor, 30, from Rhyl, died on 22 June, and Marine Warren, who lived in Leyland, Lancashire, was fatally injured on 21 June.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, commanding officer of Somerset-based 40 Commando, said: "It has been an immensely hard week for 40 Commando, and though we mark the loss of three irreplaceable men, we will not break stride.

"We owe it to the sacrifice these brave marines have made to remain entirely focused on our mission; to protect the people of Sangin in partnership with the Afghan army - and we shall....

Read more, here.

Then, I found a poem written by Pte Kevin Pollard to honour Private Craig Barber, who died in Iraq in 2007. You can read more about Pte Barber here. Pte Pollard's poem speaks to all of our fallen:


Whenever the sun rises remember I am with you all / The wind will be a sign from there that I'm there with you
The moon is a guide from me that shows you I am in all your thoughts / The rain is my tears falling onto you to let you know how much I loved you
I've left you in body but not in soul / I will always be next to you
I was taken away from you but I am still there / You are all I lived for but I will never forget you
The star in my heart is always bright when you are in my thoughts / Always remember me and never forget I'm always with you

The poem read by Kevin Pollard

More here.

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