The angels came down to Ft. Knox on Saturday; arrived in Louisville Sunday [Opinion: The Arena]

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Norma Luther,Jeanette Early, Kevin Costner

Folks here in Louisville are busy preparing for an important horse race we’ll be hosting in a couple of weeks, and it’s sometimes easy to overlook the fact that our next-door neighbors down at Fort Knox are involved in some pretty important business too.  Two events this weekend tended to bring home to us the sharp contrast between the excitingly frivolous and the deadly serious.

kevin costner.jpgSaturday, ceremonies were held at Fort Knox to honor soldiers who lost their lives in the war on terror.  At the dedication of the memorial site, the band “Kevin Costner and Modern West” performed its original song “The Angels Came Down”, in honor of five Fort Knox soldiers killed last August in Afghanistan.

The memorial features a bronze battle cross formed out of a helmet, gun and boots surrounded by a granite wall, and memorializes the five local soldiers killed in the crash: 

Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Carter, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols, Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, Sgt. Alexander Bennett and Spc. Spencer Duncan.  The men were part of the crew of a Chinook CH-47D known as “Extortion 17” that crashed in August in Afghanistan.  A total of 30 service members died in the August tragedy.

Speaking to the Gold Star Wives of America and American Gold Star Mothers, Costner told them that they are free to use the song in any capacity the organizations wish.  “It’s offered up as a prayer really,” Costner said. “Our version of what we hoped happened.”

The song tells of angels coming down and comforting fallen soldiers in their final hours, taking away their pain and suffering and carrying them away to a place beyond the moon and stars.

FOX News reports:

 

The Angels Came Down

Walking all alone in the Southern rain By graveyards and battlefields that blood still stains Back to a time when the angels came Walking all alone in the Southern rain

In the forests and the fields so many men were killed I can hear their cries still echo through these hills That was the time when the angels came Walking all alone in the Southern rain

The angels came down to the fallen men They held their hands and they prayed for them They carried their souls beyond the moon and the sun All the way to heaven one by one

The angels worked so hard for so many years To heaven and back again they shed so many tears They left no one and they placed no blame Walking all alone in the Southern rain

The angels came down to the fallen men They held their hands and they prayed for them They carried their souls beyond the moon and the sun All the way to heaven one by one

Walking all alone in the Southern rain Never heal the troubles never heal the pain But that was the time when the angels came Walking all alone in the Southern Rain

http://kevincostnermodernwest.com/2011/02/angels-came-down/

The Angels Came Down by Kevin Costner & Modern West

The soldiers killed were:

  • Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colo.;
  • Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.;
  • Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Neb.;
  • Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.; and
  • Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.