Shore gath­ers to pay homage to fallen heroes

Dorchester Star - - News - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com Fol­low Caro­line/Dorch­ester Edi­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter @ Dustin_S­tarDem.

BEULAH — The East­ern Shore com­mu­nity cel­e­brated the lives and ded­i­ca­tion of the fallen U.S. mil­i­tary mem­bers dur­ing the an­nual Me­mo­rial Day Ser­vice Tues­day, May 30, at the East­ern Shore Vet­er­ans Ceme­tery at Beulah near Hur­lock.

More than 7,000 flags dec­o­rated the grave sites with the cer­e­mony fea­tur­ing songs played by the Eas­ton Mid­dle School band, re­marks from lo­cal and state of­fi­cials, the lay­ing of wreaths and a ri­fle vol­ley salute by the sher­iff of­fices in Dorch­ester and Caro­line coun­ties.

“To­day, we re­joice in the com­mit­ment of the mission,” said Mary­land Amer­i­can Le­gion 1st Vice Com­man­der James Marchinke, who joined the mil­i­tary 33 years ago at the age of 19. “The fallen need to be re­mem­ber, and just not for their self­less ser vice. Amer­i­cans tend to for­get th­ese past sac­ri­fices th­ese vet­er­ans have en­dured in the fight for free­dom, and we should never for­get the fam­i­lies that have en­dured so much.

“Many have trans­ferred to Post Ev­er­last­ing serv­ing this great na­tion,” he said. “Those who have passed on are re­mem­bered for their ded­i­ca­tion of ser vice, their com­mit­ment of mission and their love of coun­try.”

Marchinke said he is proud to be a vet­eran, and be­lieves the path was his call­ing in life.

“It was a call to serve and to use the skills pro­vided to con­tinue to forge a path of ser­vice with the val­ues in­stilled through­out my mil­i­tary ca­reer,” he said. “At 19 years old, I chose to serve a greater pur­pose than my­self and or my fam­ily. I chose to lay down my life to pro­tect the free­doms so many take for granted.”

At the open­ing of the cer­e­mony, re­tired U.S. ma­rine Bruce Web­ster, su­per­in­ten­dent of the ceme­tery, read a Me­mo­rial Day procla­ma­tion from Gov. Larry Ho­gan.

Ho­gan asked all Mary­lan­ders to pay homage to the men and women who fought and died to pre­serve the coun­try’s cher­ished way of life.

Denise Love­lady, com­mu­nity li­ai­son for U.S. Rep. Andy Har­ris, R-Md.-1st, read Har­ris’ speech the con­gress­man gave last week be­fore Congress about Me­mo­rial Day.

“I rise to­day in recog­ni­tion of one of our na­tion’s most im­por­tant hol­i­days, Me­mo­rial Day,” he said. “We will honor the brave men and women who have given their lives to this great na­tion. Over the course of our his­tor y, count­less Mary­lan­ders have made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice to pro­tect our free­dom here at home and to lib­er­ate oth­ers from tyranny aboard.

“Let us not lose sight of the sac­ri­fices made by our men and women in uni­form or the sac­ri­fices made by the fam­i­lies they have left be­hind,” he said. “Th­ese heroes and their fam­i­lies de­serve our up­most re­spect, sup­port and grat­i­tude.”

At the end of the ser­vice, past and present U.S. mil­i­tary mem­bers pre­sented wreaths to honor fallen mil­i­tary mem­bers for each branch of the armed forces. Hills­boro res­i­dent Ernst Selig, 95, and a World World II vet­eran, pre­sented the Pur­ple Heart wreath.

Af­ter the wreaths were pre­sented, “Taps” was played, then the flags were re­turned to full staff.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Past and present U.S. mil­i­tary mem­bers lay wreaths at Tues­day’s Me­mo­rial Day cer­e­mony at the East­ern Shore Vet­er­ans Ceme­tery at Beulah near Hur­lock.

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