Soldier Honored: William Kedian
Hometown: Station Road, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland
Branch of Service: UNIFIL
Private William Kedian, of Station Road, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland, was stationed at the 1st Battalion at Dun Mhaoliosa Barracks in Renmore, County Galway, Ireland and serving a second tour of duty in the 85th Battalion as an “Irish Peachkeeper” with the United Nations’ Interim Force in Lebanon. On May 31, 1999, Private Kedian sacrificed his own life to save those in his unit by an outpost near the village of Barasheet, South Lebanon. Mortar shelling broke out overnight between armed insurgents of Hezbollah, Amal Militia, and Israeli de-facto forces. Private Kedian was the first to react to the emergency and as a response, ran from room to room to ensure his fellow soldiers were on their way to safety in a nearby bunker. He was within a few feet of the bunker himself when he was struck with shrapnel. He was 22 years old.
Private Kedian joined the Irish Army in 1996 and was the 18th Irish soldier killed in action during the 21 years of service with the UNIFIL peace-keeping force in South Lebanon. Fellow soldiers spoke candidly about his heroic actions, declaring him as an “idealistic young man who gave his life so that others could enjoy peace and freedom.”