SHARPSBURG (KDKA) — While the Memorial Day weekend is often a fun time, it’s meant to honor and remember those who paid for our freedom with their lives.
In Sharpsburg on Sunday, a World War I veteran received some well-deserved recognition nearly 100 years after his death.
It’s an annual Memorial Day holiday event in Sharpsburg, area veterans gather at St. Mary’s Church to honor and pray for soldiers who lived and died to preserve the nation’s freedom.
“We, as a group, regardless of what our individual faiths may be, can worship together as a community and pray for our departed comrades,” said Commander Mike Haas, of the George L. Walter American Legion Post 106.
The Memorial Day observances continued outside the post with the long-awaited honoring of World War I veteran Howard Lutz.
Lutz was killed during a battle on July 16, 1918, in France.
But for reasons unknown, his name was never placed on the Borough of Sharpsburg Memorial. Now though, Lutz’s name is in its rightful place, much to the delight of his family.
“I’m sure, in his way, he’s probably up there saying, ‘it’s a hundred years late, but oh well, this will do,’” said Raelda Lutz Walker, a family member.
“This is beyond a great honor for us; it’s really be a wonderful day,” added Joe Lutz, another family member.
The ceremony continued with the mentioning of other Sharpsburg veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“As long as one of us remains, we are to remember and we are never to forget and we are to decorate the graves of our comrades, so that’s what we do,” said Commander Haas.
The Memorial Day ceremony ended with a salute to all of the nation’s veterans from the firing squad.