June 28, 2005 – Part #3 – Sixteen soldiers die while on rescue mission!
I split this story up into three parts because it would have been too long to put everything in a single post. I usually like to do more of my own writing; but, I found so many very nice tributes and articles, I decided to do something like an anthology.
This last post is about a Navy SEAL Monument built at the Coronado-based Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego, California. Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the jobs performed by the the Navy SEALs, very little information is publicly written or said the team members. This is not only for their safety; but, for the safety of their families and the “mission!” SignOnSanDiego.com has an excellent article, “Remembering the fallen” written one year and a day later that tells about a lasting tribute dedicated to the eleven  SEALS killed on June 28, 2005:
Comforted by her friend with a caress on the shoulder, a red-haired woman wiped away tears as a bell tolled 11 times: once for each of the Navy SEALs who died a year ago.
More than 300 sailors, veterans and family members gathered yesterday at the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado to dedicate a memorial plaque and a tree to the 11 SEALs killed June 28, 2005, on a combat mission in Afghanistan. Eight Army special forces helicopter crew members also died in the incident.
Rear. Adm. Joseph Maguire, commander of the Coronado-based Naval Special Warfare Command, is quoted as saying that the last time that many SEALS were lost in a single engagement was at Normandy on D-Day during WWII.
“He said anonymous donors contributed the plaque, a stone monument and the golden medallion tree, which has large yellow flowers that bloom each year in late June. The memorial is outside the Special Warfare Command headquarters. It is the Coronado base’s first memorial dedicated to fallen SEALs, said Lt. Taylor Clark, a spokesman for the command.”
The secrecy surrounding members of the special forces can make public expressions of grief difficult. Although there is a special forces monument at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, SEALs have few memorials where they can commemorate their dead, aside from individual grave sites.
Now, they have a place to remember the victims of that terrible day.
“I buried every one of these men,” Maguire said. “We won’t forget them.”
Go to the link at the top and read the entire article. It is an excellent article about the SEALs who died that day, the effect their deaths on their families, and the effect on the SEAL Community itself!
Here’s a couple pictures of the SEAL memorial:
Here is the Plaque dedicating the Hanger for the Nightstalkers:
It is placed at the entrance to the hanger for all to see as they enter!
I know the Nightstalkers and the Navy Seals will never forget that day on June 28, 2005, when the rescue helicopter crashed killing eight Nightstalkers and eight Navy SEALs. Nor will either forget the deaths of the three SEALs on the ground who died and the sole survivor in that group of four SEALs on the ground and all he has suffered. I just want them all to know, we haven’t forgotten either!