Remembered in his hometown, Corporal Aaron Seal didn’t t return home with the rest of South Bend-based engineer Company B last month.
Tonight, his family, the community, and his fellow marines honor his memory.
Before he was a Marine, Corporal Aaron Seal was a 2001 graduate of Elkhart s Memorial High School.
Today the community, the school, and Company B honored the Marines memory, by dedicating a new flag pole in front of one of the schools buildings.
Seal’s family friends and fellow marines say it’s another way of keeping his memory alive.
“Many people stand behind the flag, my son stood in front of it, Corporal Aaron Seal, and that’s what he stood for, the symbol of freedom in America and I don’t think you could get a better memorial for Aaron than that,” says David Dunn, Corporal Seal’s father.
It is a memorial that stands 38 feet tall, and represents what his family and fellow marines say he paid the ultimate price in the name of; freedom.
While they have been grieving the loss for over seven months, today’s dedication was difficult for many men and women of Company B.
“They were all in Iraq when we buried Corporal Seal so this the first opportunity that they have had with Seals family to honor him,” says Major Celeste Ross.
As they honor Corporal Seal, they remember his death for many of the Marines; October first 2006 stands out as the worst day during their recent tour.
Daniel Lepper of Company B says, “I’ll never forget it. I think about it every single day. Its loosing my best friend in the Marine Corps, I was right their with him and ill never forget it, its something that goes through my mind every single day.”
“Once I heard the name, my heart just dropped, it was pretty hard, and it was probably the worst words I had heard for a long time,” says Sgt. Richard Kidd.
Both Marines were on the detail that ran the flag up the pole for the first time Wednesday.
While those who knew him say his death has been difficult, support from the community is helping them get by.
“It’s hard to find words to show gratitude, because just knowing that their supporting the troops and behind my son, it helps our family get through a tough time,” says Dunn.
Local companies donated the pole, and an etched stone that will mark the memorial.
The engraving refers to Seal as a hometown hero who gave his life for our country.
Seal was repairing a roof for Iraqi security forces in Baghdad, when he died in a sniper attack on October 1st.