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Residents gather at Cedar Lawn to remember those who died

May 28, 2007|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - It's the day the swimming pool opens.

It's a chance for an extra 15 percent off at Macy's.

It's a day off from school or work.

Some at Cedar Lawn Memorial Park said Sunday that the meaning of Memorial Day has changed for many. It is now more about cookouts and pool parties, and less about the brave men and women who died serving in the nation's armed forces, they said.

But more than 50 people gathered Sunday at Cedar Lawn to remember those who died and to celebrate what they said was the true meaning of the day.

Mary Ann Kriner and her husband, Wayne, both of Hagerstown, said it was their first time attending the annual Memorial Day service.

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"We're very patriotic," Mary Ann Kriner said. "Absolutely."

Wendy Browning of Hagerstown said her fianc, Scott Schneider, played the bagpipes during the event. Her father served in the Marines for about six years, she said.

American Legion Post No. 42 participated, and Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington and Retired Chief Warrant Officer Fred L. Shinbur spoke during the event.

Louise Hubble of Hagerstown said her husband served during World War II and is buried at Cedar Lawn. He died in 2005.

"I used to go with him (to the Memorial Day service)," she said. "And I just kept going ... to remember him."

Hubble was there with her sister, Frances Lowery.

Gerald Bass of Hagerstown earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam. He attended Sunday's service with his wife, Cheryl Bass, and his mother-in-law, Theda Monninger.

They said many of their family members served in the military.

"It's to remember those who served," Cheryl Bass said.

Gerald Bass said he began attending Memorial Day services last year in support of those who have served and those who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It was about time," Bass said.

Tom Mooningham of Hagers-town served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years, 14 with the Marines. He said he participates in many Memorial Day services each year and said that over the years people have forgotten why the United States recognizes Memorial Day.

It's about honoring the nation's men and women who died in military service to their country, he said.

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