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Victims and Survivors Honored at Fort Hood Memorial Service

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were on hand at Fort Hood to pay tribute to those soldiers killed or wounded in last Thursday’s shooting at the Texas Army base. The 13 men and women fatally shot during the attack, in which Maj. Nidal Hasan is expected to be charged, were honored in the traditional manner for soldiers killed in battle, their framed photos set before empty pairs of combat boots next to helmet-topped rifles. Several of the 29 wounded soldiers were among the mourners. –KA

USA Today:

Speaking at a podium with a giant American flag flapping in the background and another flag flying at half staff, Obama honored each of the men and women who died with personal stories.

“Their lives speak to the strength, the dignity, the decency of those who served, and that’s how they will be remembered,” he said.

A mammoth U-shaped wall of shipping containers encircled the III Corps headquarters building to bring some privacy and security to the event.

One of the Fort Hood units memorialized at Tuesday’s service was the Army’s 36th Engineer Brigade, 20th Engineer Battalion. The group, which helped build bases during the U.S. military’s critical “surge” strategy in Iraq in 2007, suffered the highest number of casualties in last week’s shooting spree.

Four of the battalion’s soldiers were killed and 11 wounded at the center — more than one-third of all casualties and more than any other unit lost on base.

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