Veterans honored at Tracy war memorial

November 11, 2009 7:36:58 PM PST
There were Veterans Day tributes from coast to coast on Wednesday. President Obama led the observations with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Governor Schwarzenegger paid special tribute to more than two million veterans that hail from California in a ceremony at the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

And, another name was added to a memorial for fallen soldiers in a northern California town. The community of Tracy knows all too well the price of war.

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Wednesday's was a solemn ceremony to honor yet another fallen hero. On this Veterans Day, the name of 24-year-old Marine Staff Sergeant Daniel Hansen was unveiled on the war memorial in downtown Tracy.

Six other young men from Tracy died in the Iraq War. Hansen was killed in February by a roadside explosive in Afghanistan.

"He was a bomb technician, dismantling bombs," said his father Delbert Hansen. "And, that's what he was doing when the accident happened."

"Daniel had said he had a bad feeling," recalled Matthew Hansen, Daniel's twin brother and also a Marine. "He said if something bad does happen, I can't send someone in my place."

"It's another day where we have to remember that he's not coming home," said Daniel's fianc? Emily Campbell. "And, another honor we have to accept for him."

Julia Conover lost her son, Marine Lance Corporal Brandon Dewey, in Iraq in January 2006.

"It's bittersweet," she said. "This is an honor, but it's not something that I would... I wish my son's name wasn't up here."

As difficult as it is, the Hansen family takes comfort in knowing they are not alone in a community that has given so much.

"We appreciate it 100 percent," Daniel's mother Sheryll said. "It's really hard to go through and knowing that there's many behind us... because there's days when it's just hard to breathe."

As there has been each Veterans Day for the past several years, a candlelight vigil will be held in Lafayette at the Crosses Memorial.

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