Cedar Valley honors active soldiers & fallen heroes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Valley honors active soldiers & fallen heroes

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The Cedar Valley is continuing to honor the men and women fighting in Afghanistan, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Wednesday evening, dozens of people gathered for a vigil outside the Veterans Memorial Hall in Waterloo.

This month alone, three Iowa soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. Thousands turned out at recent funerals to pay tribute to the lives of Sergeant Brent Maher, Specialist Don Nichols, and Staff Sergeant James Justice.

"It's a neat chance to pray and come together in support of those who are supporting our soldiers," said Chaplin Mike Crawford from the Iowa National Guard.

The vigil was a time to reflect and a few moments for families to say, we're all in this together.

"We know the sacrifice they have made, and we just want to pay our respects," said Mason Ackerman, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel of the Waterloo West High Junior ROTC.

"Just for people to talk, to share their memories with each other, to utilize the people who are available to help. And to know we're going through this together, and no one has to deal with this alone," Crawford noted.

There was no script for the ceremony. The point was to keep a dialogue open between families and the men and women who can help them through tough times.

"Whatever we can do to rally together to make the last two months go a little faster. Because it's hard. It's hard on the families because not only are they worried about what's happening overseas, but they're trying to make everything happen at home go as smoothly as possible," said Darci Ritter, 1-133rd BN FRG Coordinator.

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