Barksdale holds memorial for airmen killed in B-52 crash - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Barksdale holds memorial for airmen killed in B-52 crash

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BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -

Five years ago on July 21, 2008, five Barksdale airmen died when the B-52 bomber they were flying crashed off the coast of Guam. Sunday morning a memorial was held at the base to celebrate their lives.

"The people attending the festivities waited for their B-52 fly over, and they waited, but the B-52 never came," said an Air force Leader at the memorial. The five Barksdale airmen plus another stationed in Guam were on their way to a Guam liberation day parade, when their B-52 crashed into the Pacific Ocean.  

Though years have passed, the pain of losing her brother Brent is still difficult for Wendy Eliopolo. "He definitely has left a hole in our family where we still miss him, tremendously," said Eliopolo. She was joined at a remembrance ceremony with other family members of those lost in the group called "RAIDR 21."

"RAIDR families, know that we will ensure that future airmen will remember the crew of RAIDR 21, they will learn of their legacy. When they do, they will know when these men were asked to go forward, they did so un hesitantly, with the courage to tackle a tough job, so their families and our nation could remain free," said an Air Force leader to the crowd.

The families have each have found their own ways to keep their loved ones memories alive. They have created scholarships, foundations, and even an ROTC building named in honor of one of the fallen soldiers.

Wendy says she personally keeps her brothers memory alive by living up to the standard he chose, doing everything to the very best of his ability. "Because of the way he lived, it has made, especially me, has me look at my life and say what can I do with my life," she said.
Many find comfort in knowing, the men died serving our country, preserving our freedom.  

A new RAIDR 21 plaque was unveiled after the ceremony. Air force leaders say they are still deciding where to display it.

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