By: Denise Yuki
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Students, teachers, and high ranking military dignitaries attended a somber ceremony at Damien Memorial School Friday morning to watch the portrait unveiling of fallen war hero, Jonathan Brostrom.
A 2002 Damien graduate, Army 1st Lt. Brostrom was near the end of his 15 month tour in Afghanistan when Taliban forces attacked his outpost, killing nine U.S. soldiers, including Brostrom, and injuring fifteen. The bloody July 13 battle is said to have inflicted the deepest wound on a single U.S. battalion of any attack since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan in 2001. Brostrom was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery during the attack as well as the Hawaii Medal of Honor.
But those today at Damien Memorial honored Jonathan Brostrom in their own way, as peers and former teachers stood at the podium and remembered the fallen soldier, while his parents watched tearfully from the front row.
As the notes of a bagpiper's mournful rendition of "Amazing Grace" lingered in the air, the artist of Brostrom's portrait presented original pieces to both Damien and Brostrom's parents.
"The painting was perfect. I know he was here watching this and I think he's very proud," said Brostrom's father, retired Army Colonel David Brostrom. "When you lose a son, it's like it happened yesterday, everyday. You just deal with it a day at a time."
Brostrom's father delivered a heartfelt speech at the end of the ceremony, thanking those who have helped to honor his son's death.
"The support from everybody in Hawaii has been terrific, and it helps," he said.
The portrait is now going to be hung in the school's library, reminding those who see it of the courage and selflessness of one of its own.