Gold Star grief

CHESTERTOWN — As Irving Spry walked toward Memorial Park on March 29 to receive a ceremonial lapel pin to honor his youngest son’s death during wartime, unable to hold back tears, it was clear to everyone in attendance at the Vietnam War Veterans Day ceremony that grief never ends.

It’s been 20 years this past February since Pfc. Bryan Nicholas “Nick” Spry, a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, drowned during a nighttime mission near Baghdad.

He was barely 19, and had been in Iraq for only 33 days.

It’s easy to find the similarities in Nick’s story with the stories of countless other young soldiers who were sent off to fight someone else’s war half a century ago.

We are not using this space to editorialize about war, military might, democracy vs. dictatorship, or the freedoms we enjoy as Americans because of the sacrifices of our fellow countrymen.

Instead, and with Irving Spry’s permission, we are publishing this photo to say that we too mourn all those whose lives are lost due to strife.

And, we remember our forever-young friend Nick.

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