Honoring America's Fallen

Funeral Jim Acosta evening news screen grab CBS

The mother of U.S. Marine Major Jay Aubin could only weep as a letter from her son was read at a memorial service in Winslow, Maine. Aubin wrote it just two days before he was killed.

"I love you and will get in touch when I can," quoted Rev. Paul Plante. "Please keep me in your prayers."

The ceremony, like many others across the country this weekend, was steeped in military tradition, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta. "Taps" was played and 21-gun salutes were fired.

Much of the grieving was in California.

In San Diego, Marine Randy Rosacker was remembered as the boy, who at age 10, wanted to follow his father's footsteps into the armed services.

"Randy knew what he wanted to do and he went and he did," said one mourner.

There was also a service held at the home of Marine Cpl. Jose Garibay. He was killed by Iaqi troops who pretended to surrender.

"He gave his life for his country that he loved," said his friend Richard Maher.

Garibay came to the U.S. as an infant from Mexico and dreamed of becoming a police officer.

Sunday the Costa Mesa police department made Garibay an honorary officer.

In Ventura County, friends and family mourned Marine Sgt. Michael Bitz. The 31-year-old shipped off for war just weeks before the birth of his twin sons -- sons he never got to hold.

"His children need to know as they grow up that their father is a hero," said Donna Bellman, Blitz's mother.

Bellman also got a letter from her son before he died. In it, Bitz wrote: "I am sure that God will watch over me."
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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