Attended an event in Erie, PA on Father's Day to dedicate a Veteran's Memorial Marker for a Civil War soldier who was killed in action.
Private Frank J. Krug, Co. G., 53rd PVI
Private Frank Krug, a 21-year member of the 53rd Pennsylvania Infantry, was killed in action on May 12, 1864 at the Battle of Spotsylvania, during the horrific 22-hour struggle at the Bloody Angle. This is regarded as some of the most horrific fighting of the war. His death was documented, but in the chaos of the battle's aftermath his final resting place was never identified. It is believed his remains lie in one of the mass graves of unknown soldiers at Fredericksburg National Cemetery.
150 years after his death, the U.S. Dept. of Veteran's Affairs has provided an "In Memory Of" marker which has been installed at Trinity Cemetery in Erie, PA next to the graves of his sister and other family members.
It was an honor to attend this dedication ceremony for a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice and to celebrate as his family finally "brought him home". The event was well-attended by fellow re-enactors and friends.
Prayers were offered and the gravestone was blessed with Holy Water. A certificate signed by Barack Obama recognizing Frank's sacrifice was given to the family. President Abraham Lincoln recited "The Gettysburg Address".
Tom Schobert, a relative of the deceased had traveled to the location where Frank Krug was killed in action and collected soil from the site to return to the Erie gravesite. He believed that blood was still in the soil and by carrying a sample of this dirt back with him, was as close as he could come to bringing his relative's remains home to lie with his family members for all eternity. The traditional 21-gun salute was offered as well and "Taps" was played on the bugle.
It was a very moving event.
More images are in the gallery "Veteran's Memorial Marker - Krug".