News: Army Reserve leader honors those ‘sleeping the long goodnight’
Story by Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris
BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. – Several thousand western Pennsylvanians gathered at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies here May 25 to commemorate those service members who have paid the ultimate price in defense of their nation.
Serving as keynote speaker for the event was Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Castelveter, command sergeant major of the Army Reserve’s 99th Regional Support Command headquartered on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
“I think those men and women who, so long ago, imagined this holiday we now call Memorial Day, knew what they were doing when they designated this time of year as our time to honor the fallen; it is a time of renewal and strength after a winter of loss and silence,” Castelveter said. “They must have imagined all the flowers in bloom, a million or more representing those lost in battles here and on almost every continent around the globe.
“They must have imagined the opportunity to tell the stories of the past to the American people, who will pass these stories on to the children of tomorrow,” he continued.
The event also featured musical performances by the Canon-McMillan High School band, a rifle salute and taps by the Marine Corps League, Washington County Detachment 1138, and a memorial wreath-laying ceremony.
“They say that cemeteries are built for the living so that the living may come and remember those who are buried,” said U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy, who represents Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district and also serves as a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve. “On a day like today, we are visiting the graves of those who are buried here – whether it’s someone you know, someone you love, someone who is a friend or family, or perhaps even a complete stranger.
“[I ask you to] think of the sacrifices they have made for all of us, and live our lives every moment so that we live with honor, courage and commitment,” he added.