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Coaldale service remembers more than 6,000

Published May 25. 2014 08:47PM

Andrew Leibenguth, dressed in fatigues, stood at a podium in front of the Veterans' Memorial Garden in Coaldale on Sunday afternoon. he briefly introduced himself -- a U.S. Marine Corp veteran, medically discharged after being injured in a training accident in Iraq.

The featured speaker for the borough's Memorial Day ceremonies, Leibenguth, a Tamaqua Area High school graduate, quickly put the day into perspective.

Looking to his left, he beckoned, and a widely-spaced line of borough children began walking toward him.

Tyler Nelson, 13, held the first of 200 pages, each printed with 35 names of those Americans who died in the Global War on Terrorism as of May 20.
Several children, along with adults who stepped up from the small but reverent audience, held the linked pages at about 10-foot intervals.

The list, of 6,809 names, was so long it stretched almost the entire block.

"Each hero lost represents a son, a daughter, a father, a mother a brother, a sister, a friend," Leibenguth told the hushed crowd.

See Tuesday's edition for complete story and more photos.

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