Monday, January 28, 2008

The Few. The Proud. With Wings

A new memorial has been placed along what will be a new section of Semper Fidelis Memorial Park at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. This memorial is dedicated to the men who lost their lives testing the MV-22 Osprey in 2000. As you can see, it is a beautiful black granite monument, and yes, that is a reflection of the National Museum of the Marine Corps that you see in it. It sits on the main walkway, just to the right of General Lejeune's statue. I know its difficult to see, it was dusk and the monument is black granite so it blends in with the trees.

You are saying, to yourself, the walkway has stopped its sitting on grass. Yes, for now it is but in the near future, there will be a walkway lined with memorial bricks.

Below, detail of the front of the monument.

The names of the first Osprey crew lost in 2000 are printed on the left hand side of the monument.

The names of the second crew lost are printed on the right side of the monument.

On the walkway, it sits toward the back of the museum, opposite the parking lot. I think it has a beautiful back drop looking into the trees and when you step behind the monument, you get this great view with the museum.

This is the detail on the back of the monument. Several of the men left behind wives and young children. It is a sobering, yet beautiful reminder of the sacrifices made by Marines and their families.

You may be interested in the Foundation's website where you can find links to more information on each of the men.

The Marines listed on this monument were hand-picked to test the MV-22 Osprey. These Marines gave their lives doing what they believed in, and from what I have read on some of the individual sites, they were doing what they loved. Testing an aircraft can be exciting, however aviation, like the sea, is unforgiving. They were pioneers.

As you know, the Osprey is now flying missions in Iraq. You can actually visit a State Department Official's blog to check out photos he took out the back of one of these tilt-rotor aircraft in Iraq. Apparently, its a pretty exciting ride.

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