A memorial service will be held Sept. 9 to celebrate the life of Noah Harris, a U.S. Army lieutenant and former captain of the UGA cheerleading squad who was killed in Iraq in June, a year and a half after graduating from the university.
The service will be at 11 a.m. in the Chapel, where on Dec. 20, 2003, Harris received his commission as a second lieutenant after graduating from the Army ROTC program. Earlier in the day he had received his bachelor’s degree from the Terry College of Business.
Harris, who was from Ellijay, died June 18 when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by rocket-propelled grenades while on patrol near Buhritz in Iraq. Another soldier was killed and a third injured in the attack, which occurred a week before Harris’s 24th birthday. He was promoted posthumously to first lieutenant.
The service, sponsored by the Army ROTC program and the Terry College, is open to the campus community. Following the service, a reception will be held behind the Military Science Building during which the weight room in the building will be named for Harris.
“Lt. Harris was a scholar, an athlete and a leader at UGA and this service will honor his accomplishments and celebrate his life,” says Maj. John Porambo, assistant head of the Army ROTC program.
Harris was in the inaugural class of the Leonard Leadership Scholars Program in the Terry College and completed the program when he received his degree. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and was on the varsity cheerleading squad, serving as captain in his senior year.
Speakers at the service will include a representative of the Terry College, a student in the Leonard Leadership Scholars Program, a Sigma Phi Epsilon member and two Army ROTC cadets. Members of Harris’s family including his parents, Rick and Lucy Harris, will attend.
The service will include the Fallen Soldier Memorial, a display that includes a pair of military boots and a rifle standing upside down with dog tags and a military helmet hanging from the rifle stock.
Photos and other memorabilia of Harris’s life as a UGA student and soldier will also be on display.
The service will end with ROTC cadets tolling the Chapel bell 21 times.
Harris entered ROTC following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, telling family and friends, “You must serve some higher purpose than yourself in life.” After receiving his commission he went directly into training at Ft. Benning and had been in Iraq since January of this year.
Harris is the second member of UGA’s chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity to die in Iraq. Bradley Arms, a student, was killed in Fallujah this past November. The UGA athletic association will honor both Harris and Arms Sept. 10 in a ceremony in Sanford Stadium prior to the Georgia-South Carolina football game.