Veterans honored at annual ceremony at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens

They marched off to war half a century ago, and today 26 Marylanders who died in Vietnam are buried here in Dulaney Valley's Circle of the Immortals.
 
It is here that hundreds gathered to honor the men and women who gave their lives protecting our own, and those who are still fighting today.
 
"They are our best young people,” said the ceremony’s moderator, Alan Walden, “They go where we send them.  They go there because we need them there to keep us free... to keep us safe."
 
Maryland's lone loss this year didn't come overseas, but here on our own soil.
 
A 24-year old from Hagerstown, U.S. Navy Petty Officer Mark Mayo died on a destroyer docked in Virginia taking a bullet meant for one of his comrades.
 
"He dreamt of one day becoming a cop,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, “Now after jumping between a shipmate and an intruder who boarded their ship and disarmed the petty officer on watch.  He is the recipient of the Navy's highest noncombat award for heroism.  He was an ordinary guy who accomplished the extraordinary."
 
It is why we honor Mayo and those men and women who died before him on this day and every day.
 
"Thank you to those who lie here.  Thank you to those who have served.  Thank you to those coping with the wounds of war and all those supporting them,” said retired Baltimore Sun staff writer Mary Gail Hare, “and most especially, thank you to those who still serve and are in harm's way.  We acknowledge your deeds.  We acknowledge our debt to you, and we proudly declare a fervent, 'Well done,' to each of you."
 
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