Family members, friends gather to honor veterans
AMY ZUBEK/TIMES NEWS Members of the Davis-Lawton-Yurko-Breslin-Bevich American Legion Post 316 lower the American flag to half-mast while Panther Valley JROTC member Codey Drum, right, plays Taps on the bugle. Members of the legion are, from left, Spyros Raftopoulos, Angelo Konstas, Stanley Zuber, and John Bryant.
Sunday afternoon turned out to be the perfect day for remembrance as members of the Davis-Lawton-Yurko-Breslin-Bevich American Legion Post 316, family members and friends gathered to honor their fallen brethren during a memorial service at the Bloomingdale Cemetery in Summit Hill.
Commander Kevin O'Donnell welcomed everyone in attendance to the service. He then introduced the Rev. Jim Burdess of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Summit Hill, who performed the invocation and benediction; Summit Hill Mayor Paul McArdle, who read the POW/MIA speech; and Deacon Skip LaPolice of St. Joseph's, who was the keynote speaker.
LaPolice spoke about the first settlers of America and how their desire for freedom helped create this nation.
He then addressed the memory of the many brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving this country.
"We honor the courage it takes to put oneself in lethal danger," LaPolice said. "But cannot we channel that bravery away from the terrible waste that is war? Can we not as individuals and as a nation find a way to use our God given talent to end the carnage that is war and find a better way to settle our differences?
"Make peace a priority."
Following the keynote address, Legion Chaplain Gregory Miller read the role call of deceased veterans who passed away since last Memorial Day.
Members of the firing squad then sounded a 21-gun salute. Panther Valley JROTC member Codey Drum played Taps on the bugle as the American flag was lowered to half-mast in honor of all the heroes who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
Other speakers at the service included Marian Catholic High School students, Tori Vadyak, who read the Gettysburg Address; Katie Collevechio, who read Logan's General Orders; and Lydia Stianche, who read "In Flander's Field."