A special Independence Day event will be held Thursday in Slatington.

In keeping with what has become tradition, the 33rd annual Heritage Day Celebration will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Slatington Baptist Church, 509 Main St. (at the corner of Main and Second streets).

Jason Breidinger, board member of the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce, will preside as Master of Ceremonies. The Northern Lehigh Community Band, under the direction of Theodore Steinbrecher, and the Northern Lehigh Freedom Chorus, under the direction of Anna Mary Milot, will provide music throughout the ceremony.

The featured speaker for the event will be George H. Duell Jr., U.S. Army Reserve Ambassador. Duell, a Special Government Employee with the protocol rank of Major General, represents Chief of Army Reserve LTG Jeff Talley.

Duell is a retired education administrator. His undergraduate degree is from Kutztown University, graduate degree is from Temple University and post graduate program at Lehigh University.

He began his career in education at Southern Lehigh High School, Center Valley, were he was a teacher and administrator. In 1972 he accepted the position as high school principal in Palmerton, where he served until retiring in 1993.

While at Palmerton High School he served on many national, state, regional and local educational and athletic organizations

Duell has won a multitude of awards, such as the Legion of Merit Medal; Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Service; Meritorious Service Medal with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters; and for joint service, the Navy Unit Commendation; as well as other U.S. and foreign awards.

Prior to his current appointment, Duell served as the personal representative in Pennsylvania for the Secretary of Defense as state chairman of the Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve; served as an ambassador for the Secretary of the Army for The Freedom Team, honoring Army Veterans; served as an ambassador for the Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Committee, honoring Korean War veterans; and is active in many community and veterans organizations.

Everyone is invited to the celebration, which is a combined effort of the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce and community volunteers.