FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — The U.S. Army is remembering fallen soldiers at Fort Bragg this Memorial Day weekend.
Gold Star Families from across the country traveled to Fort Bragg for various events this week. On Thursday morning, the United States Army Special Operations Command held its annual Gold Star Memorial Ceremony on post.
It’s an opportunity for Fort Bragg and families to reflect on the legacy of fallen soldiers. This year no new names were added to the 1,242 Army Special Operations on the memorial wall.
The last name to be included was Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss, who was killed in Afghanistan in August of 2021.
Those who attended had the opportunity to touch the names of loved ones etched on the memorial wall in front of the Special Operations Command Headquarters.
”The very first time I attended the event was in 2011 and I had been invited back. So, this year I decided to come back,” Ellen Comfort said. “I thought I could view it through different eyes. Because I was so new to the loss in 2011, I just felt that I could have a different experience coming back and that’s what I wanted to do.”
Her son, Kyle Comfort, was killed in May 2010 while on an Afghanistan mission. She said he always wanted to be a U.S. Army Ranger.
“The sadness for me is I don’t know what could have been and that’s what I miss the most,” Comfort said.
Additionally, Wendall Pelham comes to the private memorial event each year from Oregon. His son, John Pelham, was killed in Feb. 2014 in an attack while serving in Afghanistan.
“Every day I wake up with the intention to make my son proud of his father,” Pelham said.
These are sentiments other Gold Star Families share as well.
These families are turning their pain into purpose by making sure their sons’ and daughters’ legacies live on.