Gold Star Families Remember Fallen Soldiers at Fort Rosecrans

Gold Star Family
Photo by Michelle Moons

Hundreds gathered at Fort Rosecrans in San Diego this Memorial Day to honor those brave service members fallen in the line of service to the citizens of these United States.

Amidst the speakers, service members from all branches of the military, military volunteer organizations, families, friends and thankful Americans were members of gold star families, those who have lost a family member in service to this nation.

One of those families (pictured above) came in honor of U.S. Army Corporal Anthony Bento who died September 24, 2007. Anthony’s mother Penny spoke to Breitbart regarding her son. She described him saying, “He was awesome and a daddy. He has a little boy, also named Anthony. He’ll be missed forever.” Bento’s sister Nickie Bento and her daughter joined their mom at the Memorial Day service and in visiting his gravesite. Nickie expressed that though some time has passed since her brother’s passing, it is still fresh in her mind. They frequently visit Fort Rosecrans and remember their beloved son, brother, uncle, Anthony Bento.

As the Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day service commenced, Fort Rosecrans Cemetery Director Douglas Ledbetter, led the hundreds gathered in the 115th Memorial Service and Day of Remembrance.

GySgt. Daniel Hansen of the Young Marines read the Gettysburg Address.

Civil War re-enactor Robert Carr, representing the 6th U.S. Infantry, read for the crowd “General Order No. 11” describing the institution and purpose of Memorial Day. In reciting the words of General John A. Logan, he spoke of a day to cherish “tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe.” He continued, “Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.”

“Let us,” he read, “gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude, — the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”

As U.S. Coast Guard Captain Jonathan S. Spaner took the stage and shared memorable stories of a few of those men and women that have died in service to this country, recalling them he said each “ran to the flair.”

During the service families of service members were asked to stand, as well as one by one members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.

The American Flag was raised and lowered with shots firing and the echoed playing of taps ringing solemnly through the air. Bagpiper Ian Kelley played “Lament for a Soldier” as he walked through the crowd. Then just before the call to retire the Colors, Janey, Josiah and Zachariah Simpson led everyone in “Proud to be an American.”

The Navy Band Southwest played as the ceremony concluded and the many in the crowd walked out into the cemetery in search of their loved ones.

One family gathered at a nearby grave was paying their respects when their children broke out joyously singing the Star Spangled Banner.

“…”O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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