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Sunday, February 23, 2020

2nd Brigade Fallen Warrior Memorial at Fort Indiantown Gap

We enjoy taking road trips across the state and are always looking for new historical markers and memorials to visit. It's a great way to learn about our state and country's history along with paying our respects to military veterans.

While visiting Fort Indiantown Gap we stumbled upon the 2nd Brigade Fallen Warrior Memorial located at the intersection of Fisher and Clement Avenues in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. It's a beautiful memorial and definitely you should see if you're in the area. Here's information about it from the posted memorial marker.
2nd Brigade Fallen Warrior Memorial Indiantown Gap Pennsylvania

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division (2/28 BCT), Pennsylvania Army National Guard, was mobilized January 2005 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. Known as the "IRON BRIGADE," it marked the division's largest mobilization for combat since World War II. The 2/28 BCT was comprised of military personnel from 31 states, more than 4,100 members strong, of which 2,143 were members of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Once deployed to Iraq, the 2/28 BCT was further organized with Marine and Army battalions and other combat and combat support elements, bringing the brigade to more than 5,20 Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen. The 2/28 BCT conducted counterinsurgency operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, from July 2005 to June 2006 under the command and control of the 2nd Marine Division and then the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.

The 2/28 BCT Fallen Warrior Memorial was originally designed and constructed in Ramadi, Iraq, by the Soldiers who served there. The memorial was fabricated from material available at Forward Operation Base Ramadi. It was erected in front of the 2/28 BCT Headquarters at Ramadi and dedicated on Easter Sunday, April 16,2006. At the time, 76 fallen warriors were honored. The memorial was disassembled and shipped from Iraq to the United States and was rededicated at Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA on October 21, 2008. The memorial honors 82 Fallen Warriors who died as a result of enemy fire and one Soldier who was a non-combat casualty.

The history of the obelisk began over 5,000 years ago in Egypt where it was built to protect and defend temples. The obelisk represents the Soldier's efforts to protect and defend freedom.

The 2/28 BCT Memorial is made of iron, symbolizing the Iron Soldiers from the Iron Brigade. Additionally, it represents the history of Pennsylvania's iron and steel industry. Iron is also the most abundant element in blood, symbolizing the blood shed by our fallen warriors.
2nd Brigade Fallen Warrior Memorial in Fort Indiantown Gap Pennsylvania

The obelisk stands 21-feet tall, echoing the 21-gun salute. The damaged steel represents the unique war, the living fight, and the fallen. Acting like armor, steel plates cover all four sides of the pedestal and hold the names of the fallen. Keystones, made from different elements, rest above the plates. One is polished steel; and, when one sees their reflection, it represents the fallen warrior inside all of us. Another is ballistic glass that has been shattered to represent the conflict in which we were engaged. One is red stained wood to represent the blood we have shed. Another is marble to represent the strength, resolve and steady purpose of the 2/28 BCT.

Inside the obelisk, dog tags for each fallen comrade are suspended Memorial Symbolism Panel from chains. From the base of the structure, a light shines skyward onto the tags and through the obelisk cap. The cap is made of shattered vehicle glass and acts as a window to which their souls will shine for eternity. As the wind passes through the structure, the dog tags move with a wind chime suspended below them, creating a subtle sound like quiet whispers of the fallen as they continue to speak to us.

Along with honoring our fallen warriors, this memorial is also a reminder that our country is the beacon of liberty that shines throughout the world.

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