Wednesday, February 1, 2012
A memorial wall was unveiled today on Camp Pendleton for Marines from the base who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More than 1,100 names are engraved on the curving stone wall. They are the Marines who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.
It is a much larger memorial than the plaques embedded in the garden outside the headquarters of the First Marine Division, marking those who died in Korea and other, earlier wars.
Lt General Thomas Waldhauser paid tribute to those who have died.
“1.6 million service members have deployed to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “ All of the soldiers, airmen, Navy and Marines have been volunteers. They left their families behind, knowing full well that serving their country could come at the expense of their lives.
Waldhauser said the first names on the wall are a six man unit from Camp Pendleton who died in Pakistan in 2002, the very first combat casualties of the war.
The money for the memorial, $65,000, was raised privately by six North County Rotary Clubs. Linda Sundram of the Camp Pendleton Rotary Club spearheaded the fundraising effort.
The wall is not yet full. After the names under the year 2011, space stretches out across the empty stone.
An earlier version of this story said the names on the memorial wall were all Camp Pendleton based Marines. The Marine Corps later released a correction, stating these are of all Marines.