By Beth Hillyer
KANEOHE (KHNL) - Just this week we followed the happy homecomings of hundreds with the 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines.
But 23 Marines from that unit alone were killed in action.
Now some local masons give these fallen Marines a lasting memorial.
The Pacific War Memorial depicts victory at Iwo Jima and a veteran from that battle, Chester Wilk, happens by.
Along the brick pathway are the names of veterans etched in stone.
"It happened in this operation and it happens today that someone loses their lives and it's good we can recognize that with a small token like this", says Wilk.
Bricklayers have the somber task of adding 23 news bricks.
One for each of the latest casualties in Iraq. The armed services Y-M-C-A sponsors the bricks, 90 so far from current Mid-East conflicts.
This Marine just returned from combat. He stares at the bricks as tears stream down his cheeks. This path, is now a place to mourn.
Methodical work in the mid day sun.
Mason George Lando says, "Because what's happening in the current war a lot of young people that's dying, just a thought of what's happening. I'm installing someone's name who already passed away and it's brings a sense of sensitivity to the art. "
From Corporals to a Colonel. Neatly set side by side.
"Sadly as this war continues there will be the need for more of these memorial bricks and the folks at Fischer Tile will answer their call to duty", reports Beth HIllyer.
Lando concludes, "I feel proud that they are honoring these people. It's a great memory for them just having it installed for everyone to look at. That way the family comes over and they see and see their names and it brings sensitivity to the art."