A hero to be forever remembered

June 13, 2013 Editorial Staff
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With great pleasure, members of the FDNY, NYPD, and the Army National Guard gathered among friends and family of deceased Sergeant Christian Philip Engeldrum to remember the courageous hero he once was.

In honor of Army Week—June 9 through 15—the Army Garrison Fort Hamilton unveiled a plaque encrypted with Engeldrum’s name at the Bluff Memorial Dedication, which took place the morning of June 13, to be seen by everyone who passes by the Fort, with the hope of letting the community know that he lived.

“This is a week to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure we would celebrate our lives freely,” said Garrison Commander Colonel Eluyn Gines, during the opening remarks.

Engeldrum, 39, lost his life while serving with the Army National Guard in Iraq when his military vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive, and was remembered as “the true American hero” by his comrades.

“He demonstrated passion to protect citizens,” Gines continued, adding that he possessed the seven Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. He also spoke of Engeldrum’s mission as a first responder in the attacks of September 11, 2001, admiring his bravery in saving thousands of lives.

Also in attendance was FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano, who said a few words about the honoree, as well as Lt. James Gonyo, and other guest speakers and members of the community.

“The army is the strength of our nation, soldiers are the strength of the army, but the soldiers are nothing without their families,” Cassano said, thanking Engeldrum’s mother and wife who were present.

We will be forever in his debt,” Cassano concluded.

Lenora, Engerldrum’s mother, flew in from California to be at her only son’s ceremony. She described him as courageous, fair, and loving, saying that the tribute acknowledging the sacrifice of another patriot was wonderful.

Later that day, two performances of the “Soldier Show” were among the other ceremonies scheduled for the week to celebrate the 238th Army birthday.

Four parking spots were dedicated additionally to the plaque for the families of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Engeldrum is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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