May 25th, 2009
09:30 AM ET
6 years ago

Mementos adorn cemetery's 'saddest acre'

Arlington's Section 60 is the final resting place for many casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Arlington's Section 60 is the final resting place for many casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Flowers arrived at Capt. Marissa Alexander's office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on June 3, 2005.

Her husband, Staff Sgt. Leroy Alexander, was half a world away fighting with the Special Forces in Afghanistan, but he had found a way to send a floral arrangement to his wife, who was five months pregnant with twins.

"He called me and asked me what building I worked in. He said he had to update some records," Alexander said. The flowers lifted her spirits.

But a few hours later, her emotions would be thrown into a tailspin. Alexander saw two Army officers in dress uniforms knock on her front door.

One of the officers started to talk: "We regret to inform you..."

If he said any more, Alexander doesn't remember. "The next memory I have is in my kitchen, banging on the floor. I just couldn't believe it," she said.

The good feelings from flowers delivered a few hours before were gone, replaced by shock, pain and mourning.

A roadside bomb had made her a widow.

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ray Fisher

    Our National cemetaries are tributes to the fallen heroes so that we the living could thrive via their sacrifices, the greatest gift ever given by those whom we never met. May God hold them in his heavenly embrace for eternity.

    May 25, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  2. So sorry for your loss

    Marissaa,
    I can't imagine the pain you are going through. I'm sure no one can say or do anything to help you at this time. But I had to write & say that you, your husband, & all your loved ones are in my thoughts & prayers, especially on this memorial day.
    God bless you.....

    May 25, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. Fitz in Texas

    God Bless you Staff Sgt. Leroy Alexander. Now rest Hero, and thank you for what you did for this country.
    Capt. Marissa Alexander..........This Texas Family will keep you and your husband in our prayers and in our hearts. God Bless you and Staff Sgt. Leroy Alexander.

    May 25, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. MG

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, So sorry of your loss

    May 25, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. S Callahan

    The righteouus cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delievers them from all their troubles.
    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those was are crushed in spirit. Psl. 3418,19

    May 25, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Ken in NC

    Staff Sgt. Leroy Alexander your work is done and now it is your time to rest. GOD has prepared a special place for you in his kingdom for your eternal rest. Unlike many who live and die and are missed by their loved ones, you will be loved and for all time remembered by all you died protecting both here at home and in Iraq. Not to worry about your family as they will be cared for as the family of a FALLEN HERO.

    Thank you Staff Sgt. Leroy Alexander and GOD speed.

    May 25, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Dale

    One of over 4000 such stories... all individual tragedies. This is George W Bush's legacy.

    This should make us as citizens far more skeptical next time a president wants to invade a nation and start a war. Yes, there is a time for war. But the Iraq war was just throwing away lives and dollars. Iraq had not attacked us, nor even threatened to attack us. Containment and diplomacy were still options. Shame on President Bush and his master, Cheney. But shame on us too for letting them get away with it. In the immortal words of "The Who", we won't get fooled again.... or will we?

    May 25, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. concerned coloradan

    Bush, Chaney, Rove, Rice.......the true axis of evil. This is on their heads.

    May 25, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |