Jacksonville holds ceremony to honor fallen Marine

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A ceremony was held to honor Sergeant Colin Arslanbas who died in a training exercise last Thursday night in Carteret County near Camp Lejeune.

Sgt. Arslanbas joined the military on March 16, 2020, and was promoted to sergeant on April 1st.

To remember Sgt. Arslanbas, the City of Jacksonville held a ceremony at the Freedom Fountain to honor him Monday afternoon.

The city hung a wreath and only has one jet of water coming from the fountain, which will remain in mourning status for the next three days.

Nearly a dozen people who attended the ceremony. Brent Anderson, the Chairman of Civic Affairs, shares the meaning behind the ceremony and the location.

“The whole purpose as to where we are right now at the Freedom Fountain in Jacksonville is to memorialize those people who did the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country,” said Anderson.

“When you have something like that happen,” said Keith Williams, the Chief Growth Officer for the Boys & Girls Club, “The first thing you think about is ‘this is family.’ They are part of our community, they live, work, and play here.”

One resident in Jacksonville shared that she cannot imagine how this happened. She said that since she heard about the news of Sgt. Arlansbas, she calls her daughter more.

The Freedom Fountain is more than a public attraction, but a place where people can go to pay their respects. The fountain pays tribute to every servicemember who has served in Onslow County and lost their life.

“The important thing for the community is to never forget,” said Williams. “We would not be where we are today without our military.”

Sgt. Arslanbas’ decorations include the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.