Sunset memorial held in honor of three lost U.S. Marines

A sunset memorial was held August 9 in memory of the three U.S. Marines who were lost after a U.S. military aircraft crashed into the sea off the coast of Australia.(Photo courtesy Staff Sgt. T. T. Parish/Released)

Corporal Nathaniel Ordway, 1st Lt. Benjamin Cross and Pfc. Ruben Velasco were honored and remembered August 9 by the Marines and Sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Expeditionary Strike Group.

The moving sunset memorial took place aboard the Bonhomme Richard. Several speakers remembered Ordway, Cross and Velasco during the memorial, allowing their fellow Marines an opportunity to recall shared moments, common aspirations and stories of the three.

Ordway, of Sedgwick, was one of the three Marines lost after a U.S. military aircraft crashed into the sea off the coast of Australia.

“The loss of every Marine is felt across our entire Marine Corps family. To the families of the brave Marines we lost – there is no way for us to understand what you are going through,” said Col. Tye R. Wallace, Commanding Officer, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. “What we do know is that your Marines left a lasting impression on the 31st MEU, the Marine Corps, and the world. They will live on forever in our thoughts and our hearts. You will always be a part of the Marine Corps family, and you will remain in our prayers.”


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(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. T. T. Parish/Released)