Maryland’s military to be honored on Memorial Day 2013 at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens

 Marylands military to be honored on Memorial Day 2013 at Dulaney Valley Memorial GardensMembers of the military with substantial ties to the state of Maryland who have been killed since May of last year while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan will be honored at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens‘ annual Memorial Day Ceremony.

The annual ceremony, which salutes the men and women of the armed forces who have paid the highest price in defense of the USA, will take place Monday, May 27, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET in the Circle of the Immortals, Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

The observance is free and open to the public.

Honored at the 2013 ceremony will be:

·        Marine Sgt. Julian C. Chase, Edgewater, Maryland, May 28, 2012

·        Marine Lance Corporal Eugene C. Mills, III, Laurel, Maryland, June 22, 2012

·        Army Staff Sgt. Daniel A. Rodriguez, Baltimore, Maryland, July 18, 2012

·        Army Staff Sgt. Brandon R. Pepper, Baltimore, Maryland, July 21, 2012

·        Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, Edgewater, Maryland, August 16, 2012

·        Army Sgt. David V. Williams, Frederick, Maryland, August 18, 2012

·        Army Capt. Sara Knutson-Cullen, Eldersburg, Maryland, March 11, 2013

Memorial Day Participants

In addition to honoring those fighting the battles of today, the Memorial Day Ceremony will also pay tribute to those who gave their lives in Korea, Vietnam and World War II.

The keynote speaker will be William Pencek, Executive Director of the Star-Spangled 200, the state of Maryland’s celebration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.

Colonel Linda L. Singh, Director of the Maryland National Guard Joint Staff, will give a memorial address.

The ceremony will also include the 229th Maryland Army National Guard Band, as well as color guard units from the Maryland National Guard, the Patriot Guard Riders, and the Elkridge Young Marines. Other participants include: Col. William Sean Lee, Command Chaplain, Maryland National Guard; American Flag Foundation, Inc.; and Maryland Sings, under the direction of Bill Myers.

Catch A Lift Fund, an organization founded in memory of Baltimore native Cpl. Chris Coffland, mortally wounded in Afghanistan in 2009, will also participate in the ceremony. The program provides gym memberships or home gym equipment to wounded vets so they may start and maintain their healing process.

History of Memorial Day at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens

The Memorial Day Ceremony is held in Dulaney Valley’s Circle of Immortals, an area dedicated in 1967 and reserved for Marylanders killed in action. Twenty-six men who died in Vietnam are buried within the Circle. The area is also home to the official Baltimore County World War II/Korean War Memorial, dedicated in 1998; and The Children of Liberty Memorial, which was added to the Circle in 1990 and is dedicated to Maryland servicemen and women who died at the hands of terrorists. It includes a plaque dedicated to the seven Maryland servicemen who lost their lives in the 1991 Liberation of Kuwait, the names of the three Maryland servicemen killed in 2000 aboard the USS Cole and the names of the servicemen killed in the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.

The annual Memorial Day ceremony at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens is a legacy of the former owners, the Armiger Family, who felt the public was losing sight of the meaning of Memorial Day.  Since purchasing the cemetery in 2007, John O. Mitchell III and John O. (Jack) Mitchell IV, owners of the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, Inc. in Towson, MD have been committed to continuing the tradition of honoring those who serve our country and they welcome the community to pay tribute to these dedicated men and women.

The Circle of Immortals is located within Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, 200 East Padonia Road, Timonium, MD 21093. The observance is free and open to the public. For more information: 410-666-0490 or www.dulaneyvalley.com.

2013 Honorees

Maryland’s Military to be honored on Memorial Day at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens / May 27, 2013

Marine Sgt. Julian C. Chase of Edgewater, Maryland, was killed on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Sgt. Chase was a fire support non-commissioned officer who joined the Marines in September 2008 after graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, DC. The 22-year-old came from a military family dating back to a great-great-grandfather who fought for the Union at Antietam. Based in Okinawa, this was the second deployment to Afghanistan for Sgt. Chase who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Marine Lance Corporal Eugene C. Mills III of Laurel, Maryland, was shot and killed during a firefight in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on June 22, 2012. The 21-year-old decided to join the military at the age of 10 when he watched the twin towers fall on September 11. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and was on his second tour in Afghanistan, scheduled to return home in August. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Army Staff Sgt. Daniel A. Rodriguez of Baltimore, Maryland, was killed on July 18, 2012 by a roadside bomb while traveling in Ghazni City in Eastern Afghanistan. A heavy vehicle driver, Sgt. Rodriguez was assigned to the 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY. Sgt. Rodriguez was a highly decorated soldier who joined the Army in 2002. He served two tours in Iraq and was deployed in April 2012 for his second tour of Afghanistan. In between his service, he returned to college and walked on to Clemson University’s football team at age 24. He is buried at Brookside Cemetery in Watertown, New York.

Army Staff Sgt. Brandon R. Pepper of Baltimore, Maryland, was killed in insurgent attack while on patrol in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan on July 21, 2012. Assigned to Company B, 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, NC, Sgt. Pepper was a Special Forces communications sergeant on his first deployment to Afghanistan. In 2003, he served in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. A member of a military family, the 31-year-old enlisted in the Army Reserves in 2000, a year after his graduation from Kenwood High School. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Navy Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks of Edgewater, Maryland, was killed on August 16, 2012 in the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter in Afghanistan, one of the deadliest air disasters in the 11 year war. Feeks, who was a Navy SEAL, enlisted in March 2006 and was assigned to a team two years later. The 28-year-old graduate of Riverside High School previously served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Army Sgt. David V. Williams of Frederick, MD, was killed in  Kandahar on August 18, 2012.  The 24-year old, who joined the Army in August 2008, was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA and stationed in South Korea. Sgt. Williams was a 2006 graduate of Urbana High School. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Army Capt. Sara M. Knutson-Cullen, of Eldersburg, Maryland died in a helicopter crash in Kandahar on March 11, 2013. The 27-year-old Captain was a 2003 graduate of Liberty High School and a 2007 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. She was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, had previously served at Fort Wainwright in Alaska and been deployed on a humanitarian mission to Pakistan. She is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

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