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New memorial honors 79 fallen Dyess Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mercedes Porter
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Dyess leadership, along with Gen. Maryanne Miller, Air Mobility Command commander; the Abilene community; and approximately 100 Gold Star family members of fallen Airmen, came together for a memorial dedication ceremony July 19.

After 10 months of construction and over $600,000 raised by the Abilene community, the newly established Dyess Memorial Park honors 79 Dyess Airmen who lost their lives in the line of duty.

The most recent names added to the memorial honor the TORQE 62 aircrew who died in a C-130J Super Hercules crash in Afghanistan Oct. 2, 2015.

“The community’s unending support for Dyess is legendary,” said Col. Ed Sumangil, 7th Bomb Wing commander. “So legendary, in fact, that the Air Mobility Command’s trophy for the best community support of an installation is named after the city of Abilene. We are grateful for the work and care the Abilene community puts toward honoring our base, service members and civilians who defend our nation every day.”

The memorial showcases the respect and appreciation from the local community for the sacrifices made by Dyess Airmen of the past and present. The design contains a unique feature of using directing sun light on each fallen Airman’s plaque during the hour they made the ultimate sacrifice.

During the memorial dedication ceremony, Miller spoke words of thanks and appreciation for the Dyess Airmen, Abilene community and families of the fallen.

“Today is about thanksgiving,” Miller said. “Thanks to the Abilene community for the incredible gift of this memorial and for the opportunity to honor our fallen Airmen and their precious families. I thank the Airmen of Dyess for their service and sacrifice every day — all around the globe. Finally, to the Gold Star families, thank you for your courage. It’s been a great gift to spend time with you by remembering and honoring your loved ones.”