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US troops in Afghanistan mark Memorial Day

May 31, 2010 6:54:00 AM - thestate.com
U.S. soldiers serving in Afghanistan remembered friends and colleagues Monday in solemn Memorial Day ceremonies to commemorate all of their nation's war dead.

The nearly 9-year-old war raged on, meanwhile, with NATO forces launching airstrikes against Taliban insurgents who had forced government forces to abandon the Barg-e-Matal district in Nuristan, an eastern province on the border with Pakistan. No casualty figures were given.

At the sprawling Bagram Air Field, the largest U.S. military base, about 400 soldiers in camouflage uniforms and brown combat boots stood at attention for a moment's silence as Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of some 94,000 U.S. troops in the country, led the ceremony.

A bugler played taps and a color guard displayed the U.S. flag, as well as the flags of units serving in eastern Afghanistan, where the base is located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Kabul.

A steel construction beam from the World Trade Center destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was unveiled, engraved with inscription "WTC 9 11 01". The beam was donated by citizens' group the Sons and Daughters of America of Breezy Point, a suburb in Queens, New York, where 29 victims of the Sept. 11 attacks lived, according to a letter read out at the ceremony.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)