Lakenheath unveils memorial to two fallen airmen
By DAVID HODGE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 2, 2012
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — A Liberty’s Fallen Defenders memorial was unveiled Friday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Frankfurt Airport shooting in Germany in which two U.S. airmen were killed.
“It’s been a year now since that’s happened,” said the 48th Security Forces Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Paul Cairney. “Since that time, even from the very beginning, it was in the hearts of the members of our squadron to dedicate something here on this base, something permanent, something by which we can always remember the sacrifices of the defenders of the 48th Security Forces Squadron who’ve lost their lives in battle.”
The Lakenheath memorial displays the names of Senior Airman Nicholas Alden, who was killed in the airport shooting on March 2, 2011, and Senior Airman Jason Nathan, who was killed in June 2007 by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Iraq. Both were members of the 48th Security Forces Squadron.
Also killed in the shooting was Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback, driver of the bus waiting to take the airmen to Ramstein Air Base for a deployment to Afghanistan. Two other airmen were injured.
Arid Uka, a 21-year-old Kosovo Albanian who worked at the airport post office, confessed to the shooting, saying he wanted to prevent American servicemembers from going to Afghanistan, believing they would rape Muslim girls. Uka was tried in a German court and received a sentence of life in prison.
The Liberty's Fallen Defenders monument was dedicated Friday to two 48th Security Forces Squadron members killed in the war on terrorism. Senior Airman Jason Nathan was killed while on patrol in Iraq in 2007 and Senior Airman Nicholas Alden was fatally shot at Frankfurt Airport, Germany, by Arid Uka in 2011. Uka confessed to the shooting and was sentenced to life in prison in Germany.
DAVID HODGE/STARS AND STRIPES