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Story ID:2615
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:In Memory
Location:Owego New York USA
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The following information was received tonight from Rose:

Charlie's wake was today, and the funeral is tomorrow. There were many veterans, inside the funeral home and out, holding flags and some standing guard. There were many beautiful flowers, but his family has asked people to contribute to a scholarship fund that has been started at the Owego-Apalachin high school. Many members of Troop 38, his Boy Scout troop, were there in uniform, and were assembling in a second room.

Mark has arrived back at Fort Campbell, and was able to call the Bilbrey's last night. He spoke to Charlie's sister Brianna, who told him yesterday was the most difficult day so far, as they went to the airport when his body was returned home.

According to the Binghamton Press, at 9:20 am yesterday, a small charter plane landed, and was met by about 75 veterans, from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. The 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum in New York sent representatives. There were two chapters of Patriot Guard Riders (veterans on motorcycles) as well as Broome and Tioga sheriff departments, state police, and Owego police, who escorted Charlie and his family back to Owego.

Tomorrow morning there will be a funeral mass at St. Patrick's. Following the mass, he will be buried at St. Patrick's cemetery, which is just west of the village of Owego. Charlie will be transported in a horse-drawn carriage, and two friends from the New York Skyliners Drum and Bugle Corps will be playing Taps on a soprano bugle and snare drum This is really a reminder of scouts, as Taps is played at the end of every Boy Scout meeting.


Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep.
May the soldier or sailor,
God keep.
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night
Need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days,
'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.


On the evening of August 4, 2007 Rose writes:

Brigadier General Robert Caslin Jr awarded Charlie the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart at the end of the funeral mass this morning, and presented it to his parents, along with other medals. He then read comments from people Charlie served with that had been e-mailed to him. There was also a medal awarded him at the cemetary from Tioga County - something this county has done since WWI.