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U.S. and The Bahamas Commemorate Memorial Day and Pay Tribute to Fallen Heroes

Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes

On Monday, May 28, U.S. and Bahamian government officials as well as family members came together to mark Memorial Day by paying tribute to those who gave their lives for freedom. The occasion was also set aside to give special recognition to the ten members of US Patrol Squadron 23, LTJG William H. Martin; ENS John C. Tinney; AT3 Joseph A. Kiliszewski; ATAN Thomas R. Caylor; AT3 Albert J. Olson; ENS Leland R. Osborn; ADC John W. Holle; AO3 Franz E. Nelson; AD3 Gerald P. Lepard and AL1 Fred M. Sparks, who lost their lives during a training mission off of the coast of Nassau on May 7, 1954 and Bahamian Private First Class (PFC) Norman Darling who died in the Iraq War in 2004.

On hand to mark the solemn occasion at the fateful crash site off of Clifton Pier, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires John Dinkelman, who noted that the importance of paying tribute to the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America and The Bahamas.

"As we reflect on the sacrifices of our American servicemen and women, we also remember those of our friends and allies - for America's Armed Forces have never stood alone. Our military men and women include citizens of many nations, including The Bahamas." 

In his remarks, Governor General of The Bahamas Sir Arthur Foulkes stated that he is joined by the people of The Bahamas in paying tribute to those brave young people who died far away from home in the service of their country.  He added that it is quite fitting that a day is set aside to honor, commemorate and give thanks for those individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice.

During the ceremony, family members paid tribute to their loved ones, a moment of silence was also observed in memory of the fallen heroes followed by a gun salute by the Military Police Force Protection Unit of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF).  Also among the highlights, the playing of Taps by the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and the release of two commemorative wreaths into the water by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew and Master Sergeant Iris Rivera, of the U.S. Army, while onboard an RBDF P-48 Cutter.

The Military Police Force Protection Unit of the RBPF pays tribute to the fallen heroes during the Memorial Day ceremony.

Capt. Michael Iwanicki, U.S. Army National Guard pays tribute to the fallen heroes during the Memorial Day observance at Clifton Pier

U.S. Charge d'Affaires John Dinkelman and Mrs. Dinkelman; Governor General of The Bahamas Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes with the Minister of  State for National Security, The Hon. Keith Bell; Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Hon. Fred Mitchell; LCDR Samuel Wartell, Office of Defense Cooperation, U.S. Embassy; Minister of National Security, The Hon. Dr. Bernard Nottage and Mrs. Nottage; Leader of the Opposition, The Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis  and family members of the fallen heroes