In a rare gesture of solidarity and understanding, perhaps for the first time in the most recent past of Sri Lanka’s military history, a five member delegation of the US military saluted the memory of Sri Lanka’s war heroes during a solemn ceremony at the tri-service National War Heroes monument in Battaramulla today.
The five member US military delegates, headed by Major General Roger J. Noble of the Australian Army serving as Deputy Commanding General, North for the United States Army Pacific Command (USAPC) Headquarters in Australia were in Sri Lanka to attend the just concluded Army-organized ‘Colombo Defence Seminar – 2017’ sessions during August 28 – 29.
Major John Meyer, Major Miles A Baker and Captain Jeremy Dixon of the US Army were among other US delegates who paid respects to the war heroes at the wreath-laying ceremony, together with Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Hess, Defence Attaché at the Colombo US Embassy.
The US military delegation, on arrival at the venue, were received by Colonel Anil Illangakoon, Colonel Administration of the Directorate of Personnel Administration, representing the Army. Colonel Lanka Amarapala, Liaison Officer for the delegation was also associated with the brief wreath-laying ceremony.
At the National War Heroes monument premises, troops of the Sri Lanka Corps of Military Police, remained vigil as proceedings got to a start with the head of the delegation, Major General Roger J. Noble walking up to the memorial with a floral wreath.
Major General Noble, amid solemn military honours placed the floral wreath and saluted Sri Lanka’s war heroes who had laid their lives for defence of the country while fighting against terrorism. Accompanying US Army officers followed suit and revered the memory of those war heroes.
Sounding of the Last Post in keeping with military traditions and accord of formal respect signalled the culmination of the brief memorial service. Several senior officers were associated with the brief commemorative ceremony.