The Community Shows up for a Veteran Who Gave His Life to His Country – Opinion

It’s Good Friday and those Christians who observe (trust me, I know some who do not—go figure), are spending the day contemplating, commemorating, and honoring the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins.

Jesus’ sacrifice of his own life to save us all is a symbol that can be seen in the lives and actions of those who serve our country. Christ, who is God, is the greatest honor. Honor and respect should be shown to those who give their lives to save others, even death.

Jesus spoke to his disciples right before he was taken into custody and brought before Sanhedrin

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Thus, this week’s Feel-Good Friday.

Asbury Park Press

After the bugler finished playing “Taps,” Dawn Tabish stood up to address a room full of mourners. Her expression was stunned.

“The fact that you all came out is immensely, unbelievably wonderful,” she said. “I don’t have the words.”

Tabish did not prepare a eulogy for Edwin Basterl’s funeral, because she didn’t think there would be anyone to hear it. In reality, most of the people who filled Weatherhead Young Funeral Home Thursday morning did not know Basterl. He was an 84 year-old veteran of the military who died in March.

Basterl had no surviving family members, at least none that Tabish knew of. He suffered a stroke in 2014 that severely restricted his activity and his communication with the rest of the world. He spent the majority of his time in Pandemic Lockdown at a Brick Nursing Home.

Tabish was accompanied by her family and a small group of his closest friends. On Wednesday, fearful that no one would show up to his funeral, Tabish’s daughter Hannah Symansky [sic] contacted’s Brick website to ask people to attend.

They did everything to help her.

It brings me to tears. It is important to pay tribute and remember a well-lived life, particularly for veterans. Jersey Shore residents understood the importance of this and responded accordingly. Hannah Symanski is a great person for inviting everyone to join her. One of the things Jesus said in The Sermon on the Mount is, “Ask, and it shall be given…”

Born December 11, 1937, Edwin Basterl was born in Bronx. He joined the Army in 1958. Basterl completed his Army commission and became a Naval Reservist, serving for thirteen years. Basterl retired from the army in 1964. Basterl moved to Brick, New Jersey as a dentist assistant. Basterl first met Dawn Tabish while she was driving senior citizens to appointments. Tabish, her daughter Hannah and the veteran became close friends and became an integral part of Tabish’s family.

Tabish met him two decades ago. She drove seniors to appointments as part of her work at Brick Township. They formed an everlasting friendship.

“My mom just took him under her wing; we practically adopted him in our family,” said Symanski, now 24. “Growing up I didn’t have a grandfather, so I guess I looked at him like that.”

Because of Simanski’s nimble thinking, more than 100 people showed up to honor Basterl in a one-hour visitation and funeral service on Thursday, April 7.

People were already lining up at 10:25 to pay their respects. The hats, jackets and insignias of the American Legion and VFW were worn by them. These were both men and women of all ages, including elders who could use canes. They were from Manchester, Toms River and Jackson.

They filled six pages of the guest book, signing their branch of service along with their names — Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard. A group of active military members from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst attended. Many Brick police officers also attended.

“We’re all veterans, we’re all brothers,” said Pete Chafatelli, commander of American Legion Post 129 in Toms River. “No man is left behind. This is what we do.”

To all those who observe, have Blessed Good Friday.

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