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Remembering a fallen hero

The sun was shining brightly and illuminated the black tombstone that marks the final resting place of Lance Cpl. Jonathan L. Smith.

Sat., June 6, marked the 10th anniversary of Smith’s death. A memorial service was held to commemorate and remember the young American hero.

Friends and family members, along with members of the Marine Corps League of Morgan County conducted the service to honor their fallen comrade.

Smith was killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded under the vehicle he was riding in while conducting combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq June 6, 2005.

Smith was a 2002 A.P. Brewer High School graduate. He joined the Marine Corps in August of 2002. According to his family, the events of September 11, 2001, affected his decision to join. He felt he needed to do his part to protect the freedom that his country enjoyed. Smith was stationed at Camp Lejune, N.C., before being deployed to Iraq.

He soon became known as a marine who could be counted on and rose to the rank of lance corporal in 2003.

A fellow marine, Nick Jason, who was with Smith on the mission, played the bagpipes as the service began with the Marine fight song. The Rev. Jack Redfearn, pastor of West Hartselle Baptist Church and a fellow Marine, spoke of life as a Marine and reminded those in attendance of the ultimate price Smith paid in his service to his country. He thanked Smith’s mother, Donna, for raising the type of young man who was willing to serve his country.

Jason followed the message with “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes. Following the song, taps was played in the distance.

The local Marine delegation then laid a wreath at the gravesite of Smith.

Donna Smith gave her appreciation to all who attended the memorial and her objective was that her son and his service not be forgotten.

As a further honor to their fallen comrade, the Morgan County Marine group will now be known as the Marine Corps League of Morgan County Lance Cpl. Jonathan L. Smith Detachment.

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