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Ammon pays tribute to local soldier killed in Afghanistan during 9/11 Fallen Heroes ceremony

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Ammon firefighters light a candle for every Idaho firefighter killed in action. | Rett Nelson,

AMMON – Ammon firefighters and members of the community honored fallen heroes Wednesday night.

They gathered at the Ammon Fire Department to pay tribute to those who were killed in action on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as Idaho firefighters killed in action and a local soldier who was recently killed in Afghanistan.

Capt. Jon Molbert with the department kicked off the ceremony with a few remarks.

“I applaud everyone that is here this evening. You all are taking the time to stop, to love, and to remember the significance of Sept. 11, 2001,” he said to those in attendance. “The Ammon Fire Department will never forget. We will continue to hold strong and remember what happened that day.”

Firefighters lit a candle for each Idaho firefighter who was killed in the line of duty as their names were read. The crowd joined Molbert in a moment of silence for these fallen heroes.

Mayor Sean Coletti paid a special tribute to SFC Dustin Ard, a soldier from Ammon who was killed in Afghanistan several weeks ago.

RELATED | Green Beret from eastern Idaho killed in Afghanistan

“Dustin was a hero, and we feel his loss today. He served to protect and he loved his country. We will forever remember his sacrifice,” Coletti said.

Dustin Ard, center, with his family. | Rep. Rod Furniss

Ard was a Green Beret with the Army Special Forces. He died in Zabul Province after getting out of a helicopter at the start of a joint mission with Afghan commandos.

Ard is the son of former mayor Bruce Ard. The Ard family wasn’t at the ceremony because of Dustin’s funeral, but Bruce told another media outlet that Dustin “was a loving, kind, gentle soul, and he knew what he had to do.”

“May his memory live on in the hearts of the people here in Ammon,” Coletti said.

Dustin leaves behind a young daughter and his wife, who is pregnant with their second child.

RELATED | Gov. Little orders flags to half-staff in honor of fallen local soldier

Gov. Brad Little has ordered all U.S. and state flags in Idaho to be flown at half-staff this Saturday, Sept. 14, in honor of Ard.

“May God bless all of our brave firefighters, police officers, paramedics and other first responders who keep us safe every day,” Coletti said.