KILLEEN, Texas -- About 2,500 troops and other mourners packed a church yesterday to honor seven Fort Hood soldiers, one from Massachusetts, who were killed when their helicopter crashed after apparently striking cables supporting a TV transmission tower.
"Words can never express the sacrifice, duty, and sense of loss we feel today," said Major General James D. Thurman, commander of the Army's Fourth Infantry Division. "We honor them not to dwell on our grief but to remember their courage."
The victims of Monday's crash near Waco included Brigadier General Charles Allen, an assistant division commander from Lawton, Okla., and six comrades from the division who had returned home safely after serving in the Iraq war.
The UH-60 Black Hawk plummeted to the ground in the fog after apparently running into the 1,800-foot tower's cables. The tower's flashing red warning lights were not working.
The soldiers were en route to the Red River Army Depot near Texarkana to check on repairs to 225 Humvees being readied for Iraq.
Friday's service was conducted in military fashion. There was a 21-gun salute, and a bugler playing "Taps" ended the ceremony.
Peabody, Mass., native James M. Moore, 47, a colonel in the division, was among those killed in the crash.
Moore graduated from Peabody High School and attended Norwich University Military College in Northfield, Vt.