Memorial Day: NJ community honors all soldiers who gave ultimate sacrifice

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Buried at the Butler Cemetery in Camden, New Jersey are American soldiers who were also African-American soldiers, many of whom died fighting in the Union for their freedom during the Civil War.

On this Memorial Day, retired Army Lt. Colonel Rev. Floyd White of Camden held a service to honor those soldiers.

"Every morning I ride past here from the church and we salute these men," said White.

That's why he hosts a Memorial Day service here each year.

"A lot of the soldiers who were African-American, most of them weren't even citizens at that time. They weren't part of our society, but they still fought and gave their lives for freedom and democracy in this country," said White.

It's also why Camden neighbors like Dee Bailey attend this service.

"I think African-Americans have played a significant role in various battles throughout our history and we've not always been recognized for those contributions," said Bailey.

But the motto on Monday was written right on the Lt. Colonel's hat: "All gave some, some gave all".

The service was also about remembering all service men and women who've given the ultimate sacrifice. That includes the fallen son of Tom and Maureen Pagano of Cherry Hill.

"Our son was Cpt. Gregory Dalessio. He was killed in Iraq in 2008," said Tom Pagano.

The Gold Star family was honored with flowers Monday and say their son, as well as every soldier who have given it all, is still with us.

"Today we don't remember how he died. We remember how he lived, and he lived his life to the fullest," said Tom Pagano.
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