Women's Memorial Garden to be dedicated Sunday
Coaldale's annual Veterans Day services will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Memorial Garden next to borough hall on Third Street. The event will feature remarks by state Sen. David G. Argall, the longtime state representative who is serving the post left vacant with the Oct. 17, 2008 death of James J. Rhoades.
In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held at the Coaldale Complex (the former Coaldale High School), at Phillips and Sixth streets.
The day will begin with an ecumenical service at 9 a.m. at Coaldale's First Congregational Church. A joint choir, consisting of the former choirs from St. Cyril and Methodius and St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Churches of Coaldale, will participate. All veterans and their families are encouraged to attend.
After the Memorial Garden service, a 2:30 p.m. dinner is planned at the Viennese Villa, 201 W. Ruddle St., to honor Rhoades, who died the day after a car crash in Monroe County, for his support for veterans. Organizers will present a plaque to his family.
Sen. Rhoades was instrumental in obtaining both an initial $10,000 grant and a follow-up grant for the same amount.
"He was one of our first and most enthusiastic supporters," said organizer Bill Gaddes. "When we started the effort to build the World War II Memorial Wall, we knew that there were at least 900 names to be placed there. That much granite was expensive."
The 1 p.m. service is sponsored by the Coaldale United Veterans Organization and the Coaldale Veterans and Women's Memorial Committee.
The program includes introductory remarks by Gaddes; an invocation by the Rev. Daniel Mathewson, pastor of St. Mary's Orthodox Church; remarks by mayor Claire Remington; state Rep. Jerry Knowles; and by Faye Lewis, who will speak at the dedication of the Women's Memorial Garden.
Brittany Erbe will sing "The Star Spangled Banner," Brandi Strauch will sing "God Bless America," and the Rev. William Edwards will sing "She Still Cries."
There will be the placement of a wreath and blessing of the memorial to women by John King and Nick Paraschak with a blessing by Mathewson.
The services will close with a rifle honor salute and "Taps" played by bugler Robert Kistler. The benediction will be offered by Mathewson and closing remarks given by Gaddes.