Team Robins honors the fallen in annual ceremony

  • Published
  • By Joseph Mather
  • Robins Public Affairs

Team Robins held the 44th anniversary of the Robins Airman’s Memorial at the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, May 27.

The Robins Airman’s Memorial began in 1976 as a partnership between Robins AFB, the Middle Georgia Camellia Society and the Warner Robins Chamber of Commerce intending to honor the dead and nurture the living.

Over the years, 2,134 civilian and active duty Airmen, Guardsmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, have been honored during the annual memorial ceremony.

“This year we are paying respect to 86 honorees, who served their nation at Robins,” said Col. Brian Moore, Robins Installation Commander.

The 2021 memorial had a distinct significance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After having canceled the memorial ceremony at the height of the pandemic in 2020, Team Robins and the Middle Georgia community were able to get together to celebrate the lives of those lost over the past two years.

As a special commemoration, the Robins Honor Guard, alongside Moore and Chairman Tommy Stalnaker, Houston County Board of Commissioners, laid a wreath honoring those whose lives were lost due to the pandemic. This was placed in conjunction with the Airman’s Memorial wreath honoring all Americans who dedicated their lives to preserve America’s freedom.

“The pandemic touched all of us at Robins in a personal way, as we sadly lost ten of our team mates who succumbed to the COVID-19 virus,” said Moore.

He continued on to give thanks to the Middle Georgia community.

“The Airman’s Memorial would not have been possible without Houston County and the Board of Commissioners for their partnership to construct it,” said Moore. “This aptly illustrates our tremendous relationship with the Warner Robins community, Houston County and Middle Georgia.”

Stalnaker spoke on behalf of the community.

“This is a special day for me, and it’s always a special day to be able to come to this event,” said Stalnaker.

“2020 was an unprecedented time in all of our lives,” he said. “It has been a hard time for all of us. It has been a life changing event for all us, I believe, as well.”

Stalnaker acknowledged all the first responders in attendance.

“These individuals performed a most difficult task during 2020, but they demonstrated compassion. They demonstrated professionalism, sacrifice, service and strength,” said Stalnaker. “On behalf of the people of this county and the cities in this county, I want to thank you for your service, not only in 2020 but each and every day going forward.”

Stalnaker said even though it is a solemn event, it is also a time of celebration and remembrance.

“I humbly stand before you today as we honor the lives of the military and civilians,” he said. “These individuals have served our community and the base, but above all else, they have served our nation.

“It is only appropriate as we approach Memorial Day that we reflect on the sacrifices of those who have defended our freedom and those who continue to serve,” he continued. “This ceremony is a day of remembrance. Let us not forget those who have served.”

Moore agreed.

“This memorial is significant for Team Robins,” said Moore. “It’s important for us to remember those who have served here. It also stands as an inspiration for those who continue to serve.”