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Aberdeen Proving Ground Hosts In-Person, Virtual Memorials For Gold Star Families

ABERDEEN, MD. (WJZ) -- Aberdeen Proving Ground hosted in-person and virtual memorials for its Gold Star families on Sunday.

The stones in the Gold Star memorials honor the life and legacy of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Sunday, they highlighted the service of Corporal Dale Burger Jr., a Harford County native, who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gold Star families gathered in the Memorial Plaza to remember Maryland's military members who died serving their country.

"Dale always wanted to be a marine since he was a little kid," said Martina Burger, GoldStar family member.

Martina Burger came Sunday to honor her son, Dale Burger Jr.

A decorated marine with a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2004.

"He didn't do this for heroics or anything, he just loved his country," Burger said.

A virtual tribute via Facebook Live was also a show of support to the area's 266 Gold Star family members.

People across the country participated in a celebratory run, some running on the treadmill inside their homes and one designated course runner on the grounds of the military base.

"It's just a tremendous amount of energy which reminds us why we serve and why we defend this nation and constitution," said Commander Mitchell Kilgo, Senior Commander of APG.

The ceremonial events aimed at strengthening the bond between active duty members and the community's Gold Star families.

Burger said this is a place where she is able to reflect on her son's legacy, much of which she learned only once he had passed.

"He did a lot of things that were very heroic, that I didn't know about," Burger said.

Corporal Burger is buried at Arlington National Cemetery with his father, who was also a marine.

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