The Robins Air Force Base community held its annual memorial ceremony at the Camellia Garden on base Friday morning. The event, which has been held since 1976, honors the Robins service members and civilians who died in the past year.
The ceremony Thursday remembered 66 who were once assigned to Robins, including 11 who were in the military at the time of their deaths.
Col. Carl Buhler, commander of the 78th Air Base Wing, spoke briefly during the ceremony of the “vacant spots that exist in our hearts.”
“Sacrifices were paid by these 66 individuals we’re honoring today,” Buhler said.
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According to a program provided by the ceremony’s organizers, 39 servicemembers and civilians have died while assigned to Robins since the last Camelia Gardens memorial ceremony. The other 27 servicemembers and civilians, some of whom died as early as 1985, were honored at the requests of their families, according to a Robins spokesman.
About 1,500 service members and civilians have died while assigned to Robins since the installation opened in World War II.
The most recent Robins fatality came earlier this month, when Senior Airman Austin Gates-Benson died while deployed to Afghanistan.