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Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Stark reminder of sacrifice

Friday, March 2, 2012

Members of the United States Army's 705th Explosive Ordinance Disposal team attended the Tuesday afternoon dedication ceremony for the marble bench that honors their fallen comrade in arms, Christopher Stark. Stark's team members included: Parker Travis, Michael Cassin, Matthew Basner, Timothy Nisonger, Devin Colvin, Jason Buck, Seth Bush, Tyler Wend, Aaron Teller, Kyle Griffeth, Andrew Cancienne, James Post, Joseph Czikalla, Joshua Tygret and Brandon Wolfe. [Times Photos by Melonie Roberts] [Order this photo]
Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Army Specialist Christopher Glenn Stark who was killed in action in COP Tangi, Afghanistan, on Feb. 28, 2011.

To honor Stark, a bench was placed at Monett's South Park. The monument memorializing Stark's sacrifice was dedicated in a special ceremony at the park on Tuesday afternoon. Teresa Stark, mother of the fallen hero, and members of the U.S. Army's 705th EOD team, who served alongside Christopher in Afghanistan, attended the event.

Teresa Stark spoke to those who gathered at the dedication and talked about how her son came into his own after joining the military.

Dozens of friends, family members and dignitaries braved the sudden rain showers on Tuesday afternoon to attend the dedication of a black marble bench that honors fallen hero Army Specialist Christopher Stark and other in the Armed Forces who protect the nation's freedoms. [Order this photo]
"He truly loved what he was doing," Stark said. "He was excited to be going to Afghanistan."

Christopher Stark was serving as an explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) technician when he was mortally wounded by enemy forces that attacked his unit.

"I had peace from the moment they told me," Stark said. "I knew Christopher had gone to be with our Lord.

"For the rest of my life, this day, his birthday, and all other days will be a celebration of his life," she said. "He is where he's supposed to be. He's done his time and received his reward."

Stark went on to say she and her son, Trenton, had discussed what to do with the funds that had come in following Christopher's death.

"He wouldn't have wanted a scholarship," Stark said. "That wasn't Chris. Trenton suggested a bench.

"There is a verse at the top of the bench. 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.'

"That verse is representative of Christ when he died for all of us," she continued. "The flag across the bench represents our city and each and every one of you here today.

"Christopher's photo on the bench represents the military and those serving in other countries as we speak, allowing us to go about our daily lives without concern for what's going on over there," Stark said.

Stark said she was humbled when she saw the hundreds of people lining the roads from the funeral home to Jolly Mill on the day of Christopher's funeral in March 2011.

"That took patriotism to a level I've never seen in my life," Stark said. "Monett takes care of their own.

"That level of patriotism and respect meant more to me than anything," she said. "People stopped for a time and respected what we stand for in the United States of America."

Stark then introduced the members of Christopher's unit.

"They weren't able to be here for the funeral," she said. "We watched it on DVD, and we've spent the past couple of days getting to know each other. These are my boys."

Stark went on to note the many businesses, groups and individuals who were supportive at the time of Christopher's death throughout the following days until the funeral.

"I truly love and appreciate every one of you," Stark said. "You have truly become my family."

The bench rests at Monett's South Park near the jet and the Christopher Stark Memorial Garden. It is dedicated to a fallen hero and all members of the United States Armed Forces, who serve and protect the United States of America.

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May our hero Rest In Peace. He is too young to go. It's our privilege to design his memorial bench. Our hero's mother Mrs. Teresa Stark contacted Susan for this memorial with a very tight schedule. And we worked very hard to get it done and shipped and installed before Feb. 28, 2012, Christopher Glenn Stark's one-year anniversary of the death who was killed in action in COP Tangi, Afghanistan, on Feb. 28, 2011.


-- Posted by tomcui2013 on Thu, Oct 31, 2013, at 8:28 AM

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