Sgt. Charles Calvin Strong never met his daughter, Sophie. His wife, Taylor, was pregnant with her when Sgt. Strong was killed in 2014 while serving in the Marines in Afghanistan. He was 28-years-old. Taylor, a Stafford County native, and Sophie Strong will be special guests at Stafford’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony and will place a wreath in memory of Sgt. Strong and those who, along with him, have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the country. The ceremony, out of deference to other local observations, takes place on Friday, May 24, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at the memorial located to the west of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.
“Memorial Day is a day to remember the men and women that have paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can live in freedom. The Strong Family reminds us it is also a time to remember and honor those that were left behind,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Gary Snellings, Hartwood District, an Armed Services Memorial Commission member and Air Force veteran.
The keynote speaker for the ceremony is Lt. Col. Daniel Murphy, who commands the Marine Corps Air Facility at Quantico. Lt. Col. Murphy has been deployed multiple times in his career with the Marine Corps and has been awarded a Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal Individual Action, Air Medal Strike/Flight numeral 6, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal Gold Star in lieu of second award, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
A Color Guard from Quantico will present the colors. Retired Army Chaplain Jack Marcom will offer the invocation and music will be provided by Aurora Boreal from North Stafford High School. Chairman Gary Snellings will conduct the ceremony.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony at the memorial, located to the rear of the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center just off the Courthouse Road and Route 1 (1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554). Bricks purchased since Veterans Day have also been installed and will be available for viewing. Bricks are still available and may be ordered by visiting www.staffordcountyva.gov.