Memorial park carries names of Fort Lewis fallen

The sight of their son’s name etched in granite always brings a wave of emotion to Dan and Elfriede Plumondore. Thursday was no different.

At a ceremony dedicating Fort Lewis’ Memorial Park, the Gresham, Ore., couple saw old friends and discussed old memories. It’s been like that every time they’ve visited Fort Lewis since their son, Sgt. Adam J. Plumondore, was killed in a car bomb explosion in Mosul, Iraq, in 2005.

The ceremony reminded the Plumondores of one the military’s most sacred vows.

“It just a reminder that they never forget about their fallen,” Elfriede said. “This park, this setting – it’s absolutely beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. It’s an honor.”

The monument for their son’s unit – 1st Stryker Brigade, 25th Infantry Division – is one of two set among slight rolling hills in the new four-acre park. The other, honoring the dead from 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, sits across the park and was dedicated in a private ceremony earlier in the day.

Units who already have memorials on post will be invited to move them to the park, and all future memorials will be built there.

Flags on post were flown at half-staff Thursday in honor of those fallen. The commander of 4th Brigade and the former deputy commander of 1st Brigade delivered speeches, as did first gentleman Mike Gregoire and garrison commander Col. Cynthia Murphy.

“There is no greater responsibility for those in uniform than to remember and honor the sacrifice of men and women who gave their lives in service to this nation,” Murphy said, her voice choked with emotion at times.

Construction on the $731,000 park began March 22 and took about two months. Next to Memorial Park is the site of the planned Reflection Park, a six-acre site that will memorialize individual conflicts dating back to World War I. The privately funded park is still in its fundraising stage.