American Veterans Honored During Wreath-Laying Ceremony in Tunisia

Story Number: NNS101110-14Release Date: 11/10/2010 3:11:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jenniffer Rivera, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Europe

TUNIS, Tunisia (NNS) -- More than 70 guests came together for observances during a Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremony at the North Africa Cemetery in Tunis, Tunisia, Nov. 10.

During the ceremony wreaths were laid on behalf of the president of the United States and the U.S. military, U.S. Africa Command, 34th Division and the American Battlefield Cemetery.

Gordon Gray, U.S. ambassador to Tunisia and Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; were guest speakers and spoke about the veterans whose lives were cut short.

"I am honored and humbled to be here today, humbled by those whose lives were cut short," said Gray. "It is a shared obligation to remember those in uniform who lost their lives."

Established in 1948, the North Africa American Cemetery is one of 24 American cemeteries on foreign soil and covers 27 acres of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Bay of Tunis. The cemetery holds the graves of service members who died while serving during the World War II North Africa campaign.

"We shall never forget the 2,841 American sons and daughters who lay here before us... and the 3,724 missing, whose names are engraved on the Wall of the Missing. We must never forget," said Harris. "We know without a doubt that these men and women passed the test. Without a doubt they proved they had what it takes when faced with danger and death. I offer my salute to those here today, those who never made it home, for their commitment and for not failing when duty called."

Harris also spoke about service members in conflicts around the world today.

"Today, at this very moment, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines stand again in harm's way defending our very way of life," said Harris. "Just like those here, today's warriors - men and women who wear proudly, the cloth of the nation.

The ceremony concluded with the playing of Taps, a moment of silence and the retirement of the colors.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit

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