Reporting Pat Warren
DULANEY VALLEY, Md. (WJZ) — Men and women killed in service to our country were honored at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens this Memorial Day.
Pat Warren reports families continue to cope with the losses experienced in the past 12 months.
Six Marylanders have fallen since Memorial Day 2011, including Baltimore City firefighter Aaron Marchanti’s father, Major Robert Marchanti, murdered by an Afghan policeman while on duty in Kabul.
“Last year, me and him were here together. I was one of the guys firing up there and he was here watching,” Marchanti said.
Ceremonies like this one at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens take place all over the country.
Maryland Secretary of Veteran Affairs Edward Chow, the keynote speaker, reminded the audience that “the phrase `All gave some and some gave all’ is a phrase all veterans know.”
Army Specialist Ronald Wildrick gave all. The 30-year-old Woodsboro soldier was killed by insurgents in Afghanistan.
Ian McDonald, his stepfather, told WJZ, “One of the things that strikes you when you lose somebody close to you is the absolute devastation it causes and I’m aware now more than ever before that each and every family must be going through the same devastation.”
That includes the family of Airman Matthew Seidler of Westminster, whose parents accepted a plaque in his honor.
Lynn Cofflin manages a fund to help returning soldiers in honor of her brother, Chris.
“He was killed 11-13-2009. We started a fund in his name, which has now gone nationally called Catch a Lift fund. We give gym memberships to any wounded vet post-9/11,” Cofflin said.
Memorial Day may offer some comfort from a grateful nation to the men and women who put their lives on the line.
The Dulaney Valley Memorial Garden’s “Circle of the Immortals” was dedicated in 1967 and reserved for Marylanders killed in action.