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House remembers fallen servicemen

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Posted: Thursday, March 5, 2020. 11:02 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Laura Longsworth, solemnly opened today’s meeting with a remembrance of the four servicemen killed last week in a helicopter crash off the Coastal Road.

She asked for support for their families as they grieved and the House fell silent for a moment at 10:48 a.m. in honor of pilots, Major Adran Ramirez and Major Radford Baizar and crew members Corporal Yassir Mendez and Corporal Reinaldo Choco.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in his first public remarks on the incident, said that they ought to be lauded and praised for their great sacrifice on behalf of their country, and said that as we mourn, “we shall cherish and treasure their memory always, for, Madam Speaker, we are most conscious of the fact that these are our heroes, not just for today, not for just tomorrow, but for always.”

Opposition Leader John Briceño chimed in, stating we both mourn and celebrate their lives in service to Belize and that the events of February 27 will live long in the memory, and lament that they fell in the prime of their lives. Their fellow servicemen, he said, are in pain even as they recognize that such is their lot as they perform their duty.

“Let all be done so that their families be taken care of,” he said, and added that “the truth must be told” about what happened, as too many questions remain unanswered, such as who ordered the mission and why their families were not immediately told, to preserve their legacies.

The Prime Minister responded that the investigation, which continues, will be transparent and conclusive, and that assistance is being sought and provided from Mexico, United States, Honduras and United Kingdom, and that the U.S. State Department has instructed the Department of Defense to provide all assistance to the investigation.

 

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