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Afghanistan-Iraq War Memorial - Memorial Park - Cupertino, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
N 37° 19.466 W 122° 02.728
10S E 584569 N 4131290
Quick Description: This memorial is for 11 Navy SEALs and 8 Army Rangers who were killed in Operation Redwings in Jun, 2005. At that time this was considered the worst loss of life in the Afghanistan campaign. A local Cupertino man was one of the SEALs who was killed.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 10/29/2011 1:17:10 PM
Waymark Code: WMCZ93
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member waypointazoid
Views: 5

Long Description:
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At Memorial Park in Cupertino is a large circular area with memorials to fallen soldiers from all wars, firefighters and policemen. In the center of this memorial area is a specific memorial to a Cuperetino native son who was killed in Afghanistan in what was the worst single-day U.S. Forces death toll since Operation Enduring Freedom had began nearly six years ago earlier.

Operation Redwing was an action design to kill or capture Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. Four Navy SEALs, LT Michael P. Murphy, Matthew Axelson, Danny Dietz and Marcus Luttrell, were inserted at night near Asadabad, Afghanistan. The next Afghan fighters in a "well organized, three-sided attack" forced the SEALs into a ravine, all of them receiving injuries during the descent.

LT Murphy made a call for emergency help from his cell phone, but was injured while placing the call. After two hours of fighting, only Luttrell remained alive. A rescue group in an MH-47 helicopter, carrying eight Navy SEALs and eight Night Stalkers, was shot down by a rocket propelled grenade. Luttrell was able to hide and eventually, with the help of local villagers, was extracted five days later by U.S. Force.

Of the initial four SEALs, Lieutenant Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle. Matthew Axelson and Danny Dietz were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for "undaunted courage" and heroism. The lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell, was also awarded the Navy Cross. In April 2008, Ahmad Shah, who was the target of Operation Redwing, was killed during a shootout with Pakistani police in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The Afgan Memorial statue in Cupertino is titled The Guardians. The statue depicts native son, Matthew Axelson, and his buddy, James Suh, kneeling back-to-back. There are multiple plaques on the marble base of the bronze artwork. On the ground surrounding the base are 19 square tiles, one for each soldier who lost their life on this day and one tile for the survivor.


The death of Navy SEAL
Matthew Axelson a
Cupertino native son and
graduate of Cupertino
schools - Lincoln Faria
Kennedy and Monta Vista
was the catalyst for the
Cupertino Veterans
Memorial. Matthew was
one of 19 special forces
personnel who gave their
lives during Operation
Redwing in Afghanistan
on 28 June 2005.

The Cupertino Veterans Memorial
Corporation commissioned nationally
known sculptor, W Stanley Proctor
to create this sculpture of Matthew
and his teammate James Suh, who
represent those selfless men and women
who put their lives in harm's way every day
to preserve the freedoms which we hold so dear.


Korangal Valley, Afghanistan
28 June 2005
This day marked the most highly decorated
small team action in Naval history.
Eleven Navy SEALs
and eight Army Night Stalkers
selflessly gave their lives in the
service of their country for their
special operations brothers.
We honor the US Navy SEALs who were
shot down while on the rescue mission
Jacques Fontan, Jeffrey Lucas, Erik Kristensen,
Jeffrey Taylor, Michael McGreevy, Shane Patton,
James Suh, Daniel Healy and their
fellow SEALs who were killed
while under attack n the ground:
Matthew Axelson, Danny Dietz, Michael Murphy.
We also honor the eight Army Night Stalkers
who sacrificed their lives in this heroic
rescue mission: Shamus Goare, Marcus Muralles,
Kip Jacoby, Corey Goodnature, Chris Scherkenbach,
Stephen Reich, James Ponder, Mishael Russell.
They were courageous. They were warriors.
They are heroes.

The Guardians on its base Close-up of a Guardian

Tile Group Left Tile Group Center Tile Group Right

Memorial Placed by:: Cupertino Veterans Memorial Corporation

Visit Instructions:
Logs should include a photo of the memorial, and any thoughts about those who served for whom this monument memorializes.
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saopaulo1 visited Afghanistan-Iraq War Memorial - Memorial Park - Cupertino, CA 12/13/2011 saopaulo1 visited it