Honoring those who have fallen, in Luzerne County

Local News

WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — This Monday we observe Memorial Day and remember the Veterans who are no longer with us.

A special ceremony has become annual amid the pandemic. Those honoring loved ones in the Wright Township Cemetery, and others, just observing for fallen brothers and sisters, took in the rarity of the bugle playing.

“They are the most solemn notes that one could possibly play. When they are played in fact, a chill goes up and down my spine,” said Lt. Colonel Tom Marsilio, United States Marine Corps, retired.

Played by a hometown Veteran who spent his service honoring the fallen.

“Being in D.C., We would do in excess of almost 500 funerals a year at Arlington Cemetery. But to be here for the community and support people that have family members and friends here that fought for the freedoms that we have,” said Gunnery Sergeant Jay Thomas, United States Marine Corps, retired.

2020 was Thomas’ first year back in Mountain Top playing taps.

It’s the same cemetery he’s been playing funerals in for more than three decades. This year, the crowd size easily doubled and the feeling, closer to observances of the past.

“It just makes things feel a lot more normal. Being with people, not having masks, it just gives that sense of normalcy,” said Thomas.

After a year where we’ve lost so many, Memorial Day has a specific focus.

“Commemorating the lives of those who have given their own lives to maintain those freedoms that we as Americans enjoy,” said Marsilio.

24 notes and a solemn day brings a community that much closer together nearing the end of a pandemic.

“To think of all the sacrifices that were made, I’m just proud to be here,” said Marsilio.

“That’s really what it means… What it’s all about,” said Thomas.

This is Thomas’ second year playing taps at sunset at Albert Cemetery. He’ll also follow a tradition of participating in taps across America later today.

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