Fort Drum, Gold Star families remember fallen soldiers

Published: Jun. 20, 2023 at 5:54 PM EDT
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FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) - Fallen Fort Drum soldiers were honored on post Tuesday. One Gold Star family makes the 850-mile journey every year to honor their son and join with other families who know the same loss.

Dozens of Gold Star families gathered in Fort Drum’s Memorial Park for the Annual Remembrance Ceremony to honor loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“To gather as a greater 10th Mountain, Fort Drum, and north country family here at Memorial Park makes it more special. Thank you all for being here today,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Anderson, 10th Mountain Division commander.

Honoring the 10th Mountain Division’s sacrifices made across the world, guest speakers commended the division’s bravery.

“You are the might that this country stakes its freedom upon,” said Keni Thomas, former Army Ranger.

Then wreaths were laid - one placed at each of the fallen soldiers’ memorials.

“It is and always will be our sacred duty to honor the fallen,” said Anderson.

The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun salute.

Then families were able to pay their individual respects. One we spoke to traveled over 850 miles From North Carolina to honor their son, Mitch Carver Jr.

“He gave it. He gave everything for our freedom,” said Judy Carver, mother of Mitchell Carver Jr.

Mitch Carver Jr. was an instructor pilot. He was killed in the line of duty in 2006.

His parents say taking part in the ceremony reminds them they aren’t alone.

“We feel like it’s family, really. We’ve met people that have made the same sacrifice we have,” said Mitchell Carver Sr.

And their 850-mile trip is well worth it each year.

“It has been fantastic. Every time we have come has been different but it seems that more people appreciate what they’re doing and what they’ve done now than ever before,” said Judy.