Dear Screaming Eagle Family,
On Dec. 12, at 9 a.m., members of the division paused during an annual memorial ceremony to remember the 248 Soldiers, assigned or attached to Task Force 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, whose lives ended when Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed, Dec. 12, 1985, in Gander, Newfoundland.
At noon, our friends and neighbors in Hopkinsville, also paused and joined us in remembrance of those members of the task force who never made it home from their six-month peacekeeping mission with the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.
I also took a moment of silence Dec. 12, to recall their legacy, which is etched in our memory. How could it not? The tragedy denotes the largest loss of life in a single event in the division’s 75-year history.
But in my solitude, I also reflected on its significance as a great show of strength. For at that time we came together as a division, as an installation, as a community and as a Family to console, uplift and support one another. Remarkable strength that my predecessor, Maj. Gen. Burton D. Patrick, the division’s 34th commanding general, said runs deep. Remarkable strength that 32 years later, continues unrelentingly today.
We are truly blessed to have such a strong and resilient Screaming Eagle Family, and I cannot thank you enough for what you do each and every day as a member of that Family in defense of this great nation and in support of one another.
Thank you also to everyone involved in the ceremonies, especially those in Hopkinsville, who continue to envelop us with compassion and concern.