Memorial Day programs held at cemeteries

May 29, 2000|By JOSH POLTILOVE

Kathleen Rodgaard thought about her husband. Rick Conrad thought about his father. Jim Sprecher thought about the men he went with to war.

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All three know the importance of remembering the soldiers who fought to make the world better. All three remembered at Hagerstown Memorial Day services Monday.

Rodgaard was one of 300 at Rest Haven Cemetery's service. She and her husband both fought in World War II. They met during the war when she was in Britain's Auxiliary Territorial Service.

Since he passed away and was buried at the cemetery in 1994, she has come to the services every year.

"I go back to that time and it's something you can never forget," Rodgaard said.

Conrad said he will never forget his father, who passed away in 1988. His dad worked on a supply ship in the merchant marines in World War II.


The Hagerstown firefighter has played bagpipes at the Rest Haven ceremony for the past two years. Before he played "Amazing Grace" Monday he looked up at the sky and said, "Go with me dad, this one's for you."

More than 300 flags, donated by families of veterans, were flown throughout the day at the cemetery to honor veterans, families and loved ones.

"This is what Memorial Day is all about - remembering those that died," Conrad said.

The event also included a a Civil War reading and a eight-trumpet rendition of "Echo Taps." It ended with the Appalachian Wind Quintet's performance of "Beautiful Music, Wonderful Memories."

There also was a chance for people to remember at Rose Hill Cemetery, 600 S. Potomac St., which held services Monday.

About 25 people attended the ceremony, which included a speech by Sprecher and a rendition of "Taps."

Sprecher, who served as a cook for three years during the Korean War, said he will never forget the soldiers who fought and died in the war.

"We have to remember those who sacrificed their lives so that we can be free," Sprecher said.

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