City of Lincoln
2007 Media Releases
Mayor Chris Beutler was among those welcoming home about 250 Nebraska Army National Guard soldiers at in a celebration today at Haymarket Park. The members of the 1-167th Cavalry and 134th Infantry Detachment (Long Range Surveillance) served in Iraq for about one year, and have been away from home for about 20 months.
"Solders, you have done your duty. You have answered the call," Mayor Beutler said. "Your country is enormously grateful for your sacrifice and dedication to the protection of America. You went into the chaos of a distant land so that the twin terrors of political extremism and religious radicalism might not ever again violate our borders."
Beutler said the number of people in attendance at the celebration was an indication that the many people had missed the soldiers and that their communities had not been the same without them.
"While the void you left in departing was never filled, your patriotic commitment to a greater good sustained us," he said. "We know that you went to defend the very communities you left behind. We know that you never forgot the individuals you were fighting for, that those back home were your motivation. You never forgot us. For that, we can never express enough gratitude."
Mayor Beutler also acknowledged the two soldiers who did not come home. Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Hansen of Cairo and Sgt. Germaine Debro of Omaha were killed during the deployment.
"We can inscribe their names in our minds, as if inscribed in granite, and honor them by saying aloud their names in the peaceful days ahead when we reflect upon the good life and upon how it came to be."