Fallen San Juan Soldier Honored on 9/11

The Pledge of Allegiance was said with a special reverence on Tuesday.

Not only because of the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, but also in memory of one fallen soldier raised in the city of San Juan.

"Even though eleven years have passed, we still have a reminder of how our world changed, said Mayor San Juanita Sanchez. Tonight we are taking the opportunity to remember one of our own from our community."

Mayor Sanchez is referring to Warrant Officer Jose Luis Montenegro.

The 32-year-old was a pilot in the US Army when his helicopter crashed in Afghanistan last Wednesday.

He and one other soldier were killed instantly.

At the meeting, Mayor Sanchez called for a moment of silence in honor of Montenegro.

"I believe that all of us as a community are united in seeing that his sacrifice is an ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, said Mayor Sanchez. Ultimately losing his life in defending our country makes him nothing but a hero."

Montenegro's family did not attend this city council meeting, as they are still in private mourning for their fallen soldier.

Funeral arrangements and when his body will return to the US are both still pending.

Yet community members say honoring Montenegro's memory on this important day in American history is more than fitting.

"It brings both situations together, said San Juan native Ramiro Trevino. But today we're saddened, because one of the members of our community gave his life for our freedom. It's a sad day in San Juan, so our prayers are with the family.

The family says they are having a difficult time coping with their loss, but did tell Action 4 News they appreciate how Montenegro has been honorably portrayed.

They also thank the community of San Juan for remembering him on this day.