He said the ceremony was emotional.

"It's kind of hard to take it all in at once," he said. "There's feelings of happiness, knowing that Dad's in heaven, but then there's sadness that he's not here with us."

Aaron Marchanti, who served in the Maryland Air National Guard, attended the 2011 ceremony as a rifleman in the honor guard.

"I asked my dad to come last year and my mom to watch me fire over there on the hill," he said. "I never thought I'd be back mourning like this."

He said he felt sad, proud — and grateful.

"I'm feeling real thankful today for all the troops and everything that they've done, and these people that are laid out here" — gesturing to the graves at Dulaney Valley — "for what they've done for our country."

matthew.brown@baltsun.com

twitter.com/matthewhaybrown



Seven more fallen Marylanders



•Air Force Master Sgt. Tara F. Brown, 33, Bowie; shot to death by an Afghan military trainee in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 27, 2011

•Army Sgt. Barun Rai, 24, Silver Spring; died in a vehicle rollover in Logar Province, Afghanistan, Aug. 3, 2011

•Army Sgt. Jameel T. Freeman, 26, Baltimore; killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Aug. 11, 2011

•Army Spec. Ronald H. Wildrick Jr., 30, Woodsboro; killed by an IED in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, Dec. 11, 2011

•Air Force Airman First Class Matthew R. Seidler, 24, Westminster; killed by an IED in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 5, 2012

•Air Force Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 26, Upper Marlboro; killed in an air crash in Djibouti, Feb. 18, 2012

•Maryland National Guard Maj. Robert J. Marchanti II, 48, Gardenville; shot to death in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 25, 2012

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts