Friends, strangers mourn for the fallen 16 at the Freedom Fountain
Jacksonville Daily News
By Amanda Thames
Posted Jul 14, 2017
"But no matter how they leave this world, it’s the fact that a military man is no longer living that was the focus of those gathered Friday."The only sound in the moment of silence was Jacksonville’s Freedom Fountain.
The fountain’s jets had been turned off -- all but one, the Freedom jet, in honor of 16 men.
The community gathered around the Fountain Friday for an observance to honor the seven raiders and nine reservists who died in an airplane crash this week.
Members of the community stood before the fountain holding photos of the 16 men, flipping a black-backed card up to show a photo of each of the men as their names and biographies were read over the speaker.
As the first name was read, Sydney Mayo and a friend held tissues to their faces, crumpled in their hands, as tears mixed with sweat on their faces.
It was a tragically true statement for two widows, Ami Little and Shari Chaney, whose husbands both died while serving. Sgt. James Little and Master Sgt. Ronald Chaney, both died of suicide after fighting a war against PTSD in the midst of fighting for their country, Chaney said.
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