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Bratislava, March 27, 2006
A memorial to the Slovaks killed in the January 19 An-24 plane crash will be presented to the Slovak military by the senior military leader of the National Guard of the U.S. state of Indiana. U.S. Major General R. Martin Umbarger, Commanding General for the Indiana National Guard, will present the memorial to Major General Peter Gajdoš at a ceremony at the Ministry of Defense March 30.
News media are invited to cover the ceremony, which will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. Media should arrive by 2:15 p.m. at MOD, cerveny salon. For information please call the press section of the U.S. Embassy at 5922-3177.
The memorial will also be taken to military units in Presov and Trebisov March 27 and to Zvolen March 29 before being returned to the Ministry of Defense in Bratislava.
Slovakia and Indiana have been closely involved in military and cultural exchanges for many years, and the members of Indiana's military deeply felt Slovakia's loss. Members of the Trebisov Battalion hosted a peace-keeping exchange with Indiana last year, and Indiana has worked closely with the Slovak Kosovo contingent in the recent past.
Major General Umbarger is visiting as part of the on-going friendship with Slovakia and to discuss common goals and interests with the Slovak military.