FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (WKRN) — It’s been two weeks since a deadly helicopter crash in Kentucky that killed all Fort Campbell soldiers on board.
Those nine soldiers are identified as Staff Sgt. Joshua Gore, 25; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, 36; Sgt. David Solinas Jr., 23; Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, 30; Sgt. Isaac J. Gayo, 27; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32; Warrant Officer Aaron Healy, 32; Cpl. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, 23; and Warrant Officer Jeffery Barnes, 33.
The 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell have detailed how they plan to honor the lives lost.
The memorial ceremony will take place Thursday at 1 p.m. at F&M Bank Arena in Clarksville.
A missing soldier formation flyover will occur at 11:45 a.m. This will be in the vicinity of McGregor Park along the Cumberland River.
The memorial ceremony will not be open to the public but will be livestreamed.
And this is just one of the many ways those fallen soldiers are being honored.
In Oradell, New Jersey, Mayor Dianne Didio said the town is painted in yellow to honor Sgt. David Solinas Jr.
“We were all devastated and grief stricken. David was a phenomenal young man and from a phenomenal faith-filled family. And, you know, the good thing about Oradell, which is known as the family town is that we rally around our own when things like this happen,” Didio said.
“We have blanketed the town with yellow ribbons. And until David is home and laid to rest, those ribbons will remain in place to honor his memory and his legacy,” she added.
Didio said this tragedy is yet another reminder that our freedom is not free.
“It makes me so proud and every Fourth of July after our parade, I always include in my statement to the crowd, remember that freedom isn’t free,” Didio said. “And there are those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and will continue to do so to make sure that we can have our barbecues and operates on the Fourth of July and celebrate the freedoms that we enjoy.”
Folks in Oradell, New Jersey, described him as a compassionate and caring young man.
Didio also said a meal train for the family filled up in no time. The GoFundMe for Solinas reached over 60,000 in one week.