A stone monument in Childers’ honor, which faces Lt. Childers Street and bears Wyoming’s bucking bronco emblem, was unveiled Monday by his parents, Joseph and Judy Childers of Powell.
“This Memorial Day isn’t just about our son,” said Joseph Childers. “I can’t think of our loss without thinking of all the other families who have lost sons and daughters in service to this country.”
The monument and street named for 1st Lt. Shane Childers are located in Cody alongside the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park, honoring those who have served America in wars over the decades.
During Monday’s ceremony, Powell Mayor Scott Mangold read the names of others who are etched in history as the first casualties of wars — fallen soldiers from the Civil War, Vietnam, and Korea.
“Each community dealt with a first fallen, and for Powell, we did have a sense of pride — pride in what Shane was and where he came from,” Mangold said.
Shane Childers joined the U.S. Marine Corps in July 1990, shortly after his high school graduation. He served in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm and was assigned to Marine Security Guard Duty later, serving at the American Consulate in Geneva, Switzerland and then the American Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
“These are hand-selected Marines that, because of their backgrounds, receive very high security clearances so they can be deployed to American Embassies overseas,” Major General Hummer said.
Childers went on to attend the Citadel after being selected for the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program. Upon his graduation, he was commissioned a second lieutenant on June 15, 2001 — just a few months before the deadly terrorist attacks of 9/11. He was posthumously promoted to first lieutenant.
“He was described as a born leader. Focused and serious, he built his life around being a Marine,” Major General Hummer said.
“One of the things that makes us proud was that Shane’s platoon all came home,” Joseph Childers said. “He trained them well. He did his job, and we thank you all for honoring our son today.”
Joseph Childers described the family’s lasting loss and grief since Shane’s death in 2003.
“First there’s shock, there’s grief, then hurt that goes extremely deep, to where you think you can’t hardly stand it,” Joseph Childers said.
“We haven’t had to bear this burden alone,” he added. “We’ve been able to share it and have had the support of family, friends, neighbors, Shane’s friends from all over the world, the United States Marine Corps … and all the people across the country who also felt our loss.”
“Our hearts go out to you, and they have for some time,” Hummer said. “Thank you for your sacrifice, for Shane’s sacrifice.”