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Memorial Day crowd at Cedar Lawn remembers what was lost

May 26, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Before her father died two months ago, the pair attended Memorial Day services together.

Ella Clevenger, 53, of Waynesboro, Pa., and her father, Richard H. Sprankle Sr., of Hagers-town, both served in the U.S. military.

"I used to tease him that I outranked him," Clevenger said of her father.

Sprankle, who was a private first class, is a Korean War veteran. Clevenger, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era, was a sergeant.

Clevenger and her mother, Doris Sprankle, attended Sunday's Memorial Day service at Cedar Lawn Memorial Park. They were among about 100 people who gathered at the annual service to pay tribute to America's fallen servicemen and servicewomen.

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"Every Memorial Day, we would go to services because he was very proud of his service," Clevenger said.

Maryland Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, spoke during the event, along with Fred L. Shinbur, chairman of the Maryland Veterans Commission and Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.

Joseph Bach, 65, of Hagers-town, served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 1960s, and said he usually makes it to a Memorial Day event each year.

"I try to attend all of the services for the guys, especially those who didn't come back," Bach said.

Bach's son, 36-year-old Eric Bach, is a commander in the U.S. Navy and is stationed in Japan. His son also has served in Iraq.

"He was on the ground there," Bach said. "We're so short-handed, we even had Navy on the ground."

When Eric Bach left Iraq, the man who replaced him there was killed.

"It really makes you grateful for what you've got, but sorry for what others have lost," Joseph Bach said.

Wearing red, white and blue and holding two American flags, Lottie Canfield, 84, of Hagerstown, said Sunday that she attends the Cedar Lawn event each year.

Her husband, Robert Canfield, was a World War II veteran, and was buried at the cemetery 27 years ago. The couple's son also is a Vietnam veteran.

"I just like to be patriotic ... remember the servicemen who are not here," Lottie Canfield said.

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