It was a bittersweet occasion.  Fort Bragg’s new Chay Youth Activities Center was dedicated to fallen Soldier, Staff Sgt. Kyu H. Chay during a ceremony Monday in the Linden Oaks community.

Chay, 34, a cryptologic linguist who was assigned to the Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group served as a special operations assistant team leader.  He was killed Oct. 28, 2006, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee in Afghanistan.

Friends, Family and fellow Soldiers came to pay their respects to Chay and his Family.

During his speech Col. Randall Zeegers, deputy commanding general, United States Army Special Forces Command described Chay as a dedicated father, Soldier and patriot.

“Teaching and leading others is the legacy Sergeant Chay’s spirit continues to inspire,” said Zeegers. “My hope is the children who utilize this center remember the spirit of Kyu Chay every day. I hope the children will never forget what has been given to them and never forget the price paid by the Chay Family.”

While the day was about memorializing a Soldier, Col. Jeff Sanborn Fort Bragg Garrison commander discussed the legacy that the  Chay Youth Activities Center will provide Fort Bragg Families.

“This really is a special place, said Sanborn. It has the capacity to host up to 150 kids on any given day or time. It offers a getaway that will meet just about any of our kids needs here in the Linden Oaks community.”

Chay’s mother, father, widow and children attended the unveiling of the  plaque that commemorated his life and accepted the Bronze star he was presented posthumously.

“It is very hard to express in words,” said Cathy, Chay’s widow.

“The emotions are still so raw. Seven years have gone by and the pain remains. Just the trauma is gone. “

Even through the loss of their loved one, the Chay Family recognizes the importance of keeping Kyu Chay’s name alive in the community.

“I’m grateful, but it’s bittersweet,” said Cathy. “I’d rather him be here today. It’s nice to be here where his memory is kept alive.”

For more information about Chay Youth Activities Center, call 908-5012.