Honoring fallen soldiers in one of the nation’s most historic battlefields


SHARPSBURG, Md. (WDVM) — Residents and veterans gathered in the historic town of Sharpsburg, Maryland to honor and remember fallen soldiers during the town’s 154th Memorial Day service.

The day of remembrance began with a keynote speech from James M. Nugent, a Command Sergeant Major in the Maryland Army National Guard. Then. the annual parade took to the streets and included historic war vehicles as well as a flyover by two Fairchild PT-19 Trainer Aircraft from the Hagerstown Aviation Museum. Command Sergeant Major Nugent was honored to deliver the keynote speech at the service.

“This is Sharpsburg, Maryland, the site of the Battle of Antietam, one of the nation’s pivotal battles here in this very town,” CSM Nugent said. “To be here amongst these people and so many of them are veterans, so many of them are heroes.”

The town of Sharpsburg decided in November of 2020 that they would continue to hold their annual Memorial Day service despite the Coronavirus pandemic. Jacob Martz, the Vice Mayor of Sharpsburg, helped to plan the service and the parade which included local fire departments and community organizations among other floats.

“It is very cool to be here and be a part of this tradition, it’s like being a part of history. And it’s very, it’s a great honor to have planned this,” Vice Mayor Martz said. “It’s just a great, you know joy to see everybody out here, honoring our heroes and preserving our traditions. This event is very important to this town which is why it was very important for us to keep it going.”

Angie Hoy is the lead teacher at Sharpsburg Elementary School and has been teaching the importance and significance of Memorial Day not only to her students but to her children as well. Hoy stressed the day of remembrance also serves as a reminder to not only her students but this nation that even on a day to honor fallen soldiers, there are still troops serving our country each and every day.

“This is a very important holiday, not only for us to remember as adults but also to teach our children about the history of the town of Sharpsburg, and just the importance of what took place here during the Civil War,” Hoy explained.

The town of Sharpsburg held its first Memorial Day service in 1867 on the fifth anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

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