TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Since Operation Enduring freedom began in Afghanistan over 2000 American soldiers have lost their lives. Three years ago this weekend, the city of Terre Haute lost a hero of our own. Saturday, he was immortalized alongside other heroes of our city.
As the sun rose, a small group gathered on the front lawn of the Vigo County court house; among the memorials to heroes of past U. S. Wars. To remember their son, friend, and hero.
On this day three years ago, the city lost Sergeant Dale Griffin battling in Afghanistan.
"Today's another one of those days in our community where we've been reminded of the love and respect that they have for those that have served. And today's obviously special for our son Dale," Dale's father Gene Griffin said.
For three years this date has been an emotional one in the lives of Gene and Dona Griffin.
"You have a tendency to think back and think about all that has occurred and for me there's always a little bit of apprehension," Dona said.
The squeal of the bagpipe cut through the morning air signaling a new day for the Griffins.
On this anniversary their son joins the heroes of Korea and Vietnam on a monument for the soldiers of our modern wars.
It was an idea several members of the community put together months ago.
"(They) bent over backwards to make sure the lettering the words, the design, that everything was exactly the way we'd like to see it. Just very sensitive to (us) and we're very appreciative," Gene said.
Joining the Griffins this particular morning were close family, friends, and veterans. After a prayer and words from Dale's father the short ceremony came to an end, but the memorial for Dale here is now permanent.
"I don't think I'll ever be able to drive by here without thinking of our son, ever," Dona said.
As the family held their quiet vigil and examined their lost loved ones new monument, his mother looks forward to another new beginning.
"This renews my faith in the resurrection, I'm looking forward to that day when I can hug Dale again."
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