Military News

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Base Theater dedicated to fallen Airmen

by Airman 1st Class Taylor A. Workman
9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

4/29/2015 - 4/28/2015 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- Team Beale held a memorial event dedicating the base theater as Independence Hall in remembrance of the four fallen Airmen of the MC-12 Liberty, call sign Independence 08, April 27, 2015. The event marked the two year anniversary of their sacrifice.

Capt. Reid K. Nishizuka, Capt. Brandon L. Cyr, Staff Sgt. Richard A. Dickson and Staff Sgt. Daniel N. Fannin were killed April 27, 2013, when their MC-12 Liberty crashed during a combat operation in Afghanistan.

"The crew of Independence 08 in the quest to uphold freedom, liberty and justice, paid the ultimate sacrifice in their endeavors," said Lt. Col. James Mansard, 69th Reconnaissance Group deputy commander, guest speaker at the event. "We will never forget their names, faces, smiles, their leadership and the courage they displayed while acting upon their oaths."

Family, friends, and fellow Airmen gathered at the newly dedicated Independence Hall to mourn, celebrate and remember the lives of the MC-12 crew, followed by a luncheon at the Recce Point Club.

"Freedom comes through the Airman, the Sailor, the Soldier, the Marine, who willingly took an oath to support and defend the constitution of this nation," said Chaplain Michael Goecker, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Chaplain Corps. "Freedom comes from the vigilance of the watchman on the wall, freedom comes from the willingness of these same men and women to take up arms and defend it."

The aircrew contributed to the legacy of project Liberty. All involved with project Liberty protected thousands of American and coalition forces through direct support to operations and aided in the greatest operational success in Operation Enduring Freedom, according to Mansard.

The ceremony concluded with the unveiling of a graphical representation of the plaque that will be permanently mounted at the entrance of Independence Hall and an artist's rendering of the memorial that will be in front of Independence Hall.

"As an Air Force family, we all share in the loss," Mansard said. "It is my greatest hope that the families of our dear friends find comfort in the Air Force family that surrounds them here. Today is a day for Team Beale to move forward as our fallen heroes look down upon us."

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