Philadelphia VA Medical Center

Through sacrifice, a purpose

They have never met but they have much in common. All three are Bel Air residents with family members who joined the Marines and went to wars, from Vietnam to Iraq. And all lost a 21-year-old son in combat.

Their paths didn't cross before now, but Virginia Schafer, Michael Adle and Martina Burger are connected by the deaths of their sons and their simultaneous efforts to work through their grief. They also share the desire to see that the memory of their fallen soldiers is honored and, to that end, are taking part in a Memorial Day service tomorrow in Bel Air.

"Memorial Day is the day millions of people gather to honor our fallen soldiers," said Adle, who is...