By Molly Daly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Civil war re-enactors, veterans and the public gathered at Laurel Hill Cemetery in East Falls on Sunday for the annual Memorial Day service. The ceremony at the grave of General George Gordon Meade honors all veterans.
“Never to forget this costly gift of freedom, nor take it for granted…” Father Timothy Judge offered the invocation at the once-forgotten grave of First Sergeant Albert Bunn, who was killed at Gettysburg in 1863. Now, a newly dedicated headstone marks his resting place.
“Whenever we do that, we obtain a stone and dedicate it for them,” says General Meade Society President Andy Wasskie. “And we actually have representatives of his own unit here, the 71st Pennsylvania, to honor him.”
The belated honor of one man’s sacrifice, says Wasskie, is in keeping with the mission of Memorial Day.
“The commemoration and remembrance of what veterans have done to keep this nation free and safe, and that can never be forgotten.”
It’s the 15th year the service has been held at Laurel Hill and Wasskie says the location is fitting.
“This is the site where the first Memorial Day Service was held in Philadelphia on May 30th, 1868, and we are following in that tradition.”