Madison Mackinnon receives the Gold Medal of Remembrance from Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, commander of 3rd Infantry Division, during a ceremony July 18 at Fort Stewart, Ga., while her mother, Becky Mackinnon, watches on. The girl's father, Capt. Michael J. Mackinnon, who was with 4th Battalion, 64th Armor, 4th Brigade Combat Team, was killed Oct. 27, 2005 in Baghdad by a roadside bomb. (Photo by: Spc. Amanda McBride US Army)
By Gina Cavallaro
Staff writer Army Times
A special ceremony at Fort Stewart, Ga., on Saturday evening honored some of the youngest members of the Army family — the children of the 3rd Infantry Division soldiers who have died during operations in Iraq.
The 32 children, from 17 families, were presented with the Gold Medal of Remembrance by division commander Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo and his wife, Ginger.
Cucolo spoke of the children’s unique experiences and sacrifices.
“The children we honor here tonight, they have learned lessons in life that no one else their age have learned,” Cucolo stated in a news release from the 3rd Infantry Division.
The gold memento hangs on a purple ribbon that the Cucolos placed around the children’s necks.
The medal was created in 2006 by the White House Commission on Remembrance to honor the sacrifices of the children of the soldiers and other service members who have died during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More than 700 of the medals have been given to military children, according to the commission’s Web site.