U.S., French, and Polish service members dedicated a memorial to coalition officers who have lost life or limb.
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - U.S., French, and Polish service members dedicated a memorial Aug. 15 to Coalition Forces who have lost life or limb in Afghanistan.
The memorial consists of a plaque beneath a round pillar with an overstretched arch made of brick. The pillar was built seven years ago by a retired soldier, James F. Parker, who had helped a Polish Sapper unit demine an old Russian gravel yard on Bagram Air Field. During the operation, the Polish commander stepped on a landmine and lost a leg.
Parker was inspired to build the memorial for the Polish officer, but his unit left Afghanistan before a plaque could be added.
"I had hoped that one day I would be able to serve in Bagram and see this memorial again...but my hopes of personally seeing it again through the Army was not to be," Parker said.
Having control of base operations at the air field, Task Force Warrior assumed responsibility for granting Parker's request and adding a plaque to the memorial.
The plaque reads, "In honor of all Coalition Forces who lost life or limb in the line of duty while serving in Afghanistan. May their sacrifice be forever on our hearts and minds. We Will Not Forget!"
The date was chosen because it fell on Polish Armed Forces Day. Task Force Base Operations Sgt. Maj. David Stewart explained, "Even though the memorial is dedicated to all Coalition Forces, it was fitting to dedicate it on the day that honors the Armed Forces of the soldier that originally inspired the memorial to be built. It was an honor to
complete this memorial for this soldier, as it is a worthwhile action to honor all the sacrifices made by the Coalition in the fight in Afghanistan."