Article Tools

Font size
Share This

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

TIMES-SHAMROCK PHOTO/JASON FARMER Evyn Lepkowski, 6, of Dunmore, is so touched by Tunkhannock resident Kendra Lynn’s speech that he hugs her during the National ‘Remembering Our Fallen’ memorial ceremony Saturday afternoon. Lynn’s brother, Army Staff Sgt. Steven Tudor, was killed in Iraq in 2007.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Wyoming County Commissioner Tom Henry also read names.

Area folks gathered at McDade Park in Scranton Saturday to honor those Americans who have lost their lives in military actions since Sept. 11, 2001.

The Saturday afternoon program was emceed by Kendra Lynn of Tunkhannock, whose brother Staff Sgt. Steven Tudor, a Dunmore High School grad, was killed.

Lynn shared that 17 years ago, her brother was visiting Tunkhannock, when she realized one morning she had to run to the store to get something.

She asked her brother to watch her two-week-old daughter, and recalled he was terrified about the possibilities of caring for an infant since at the time he had no immediate family outside of his siblings.

As she was coming home, Lynn said she had the radio on and a news bulletin broke into the regular music that there had been an attack on the World Trade Tower in New York City.

When she got home, she told her brother - a career military man then 30 - to turn on the TV.

“In a moment, we realized that his life, all of our lives, would forever be changed,” Lynn said holding back tears.

After three tours of duty in Iraq, and 18 years in the military, Lynn said her brother was looking forward to retirement in two years.

But that was changed when a rocket-propelled grenade destroyed the Humvee he was driving in Baghdad in 2007.

As a backdrop behind Lynn were panels of photographs - more than 10,000 photos - with half of them representing more than 5,300 of America’s military Fallen who have died from wounds while deployed in the War on Terror.

There was a large photograph of a soldier often in uniform and in a military setting, and a smaller one, typically representing civilian life back home.

Panel 26-8, for instance, had amongst its images one of Staff Sgt. Daniel Arnold, a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard who worked in Tunkhannock before being deployed to Iraq 15 years ago. There was a smaller inset with Arnold and his two boys

On Sept. 28, 2005, Arnold died in Iraq when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle was attacked by enemy forces using indirect fire.

Standing nearby the panel that had Arnold’s pictures Saturday were Arnold’s parents, Kendall and Janet Arnold of Montrose.

“It’s just overwhelming,” Janet said of the lives lost trying to maintain freedom around the world.

Their daughter - Daniel’s sister Sandra - was among the Gold Star families who were assigned along with hundreds of volunteers to read 200 names each in a concluding service Saturday.

Leading off the reading was Tunkhannock Area High School student Taylor Lynn, who was too young to remember her uncle cradling her 17 years ago on that fateful day that changed everyone’s world.

Wyoming County Commissioner Tom Henry was one of the readers.

“It was an amazing event,” Henry said. “Truly moving.”

The ‘Remembering Our Fallen’ display was taken down from McDade Park following a memorial service Tuesday. It will reappear in Clarksville, Tenn., on Thursday. It will return to Pennsylvania on Dec. 7-9 for Army-Navy Weekend, at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. It was originally unveiled at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., one year ago.