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Slatington Legion provides memorial ceremony at cemeteries

  • At Friedens Church the Rev. Lunnett Hilliard waits to give the Benediction as Dennis Zeigler provides the voice of the ceremony.
    At Friedens Church the Rev. Lunnett Hilliard waits to give the Benediction as Dennis Zeigler provides the voice of the ceremony.
Published June 01. 2011 05:02PM

Members of the American Legion Allen O. Delke Post 16 of Slatington, visited 12 cemeteries with a ceremony providing honor to the war dead. Nine ceremonies were held on Sunday when members of the churches were able to attend.

Dennis Ziegler, president of the Memorial Day committee, said they were there to honor the heroic dead because they made our lives free.

The first stop is the small Williamstown Cemetery near Slatington with one veteran's grave. It is believed it is the resting place of a Civil War soldier. Boy Scouts from Troop 66, sponsored by the Legion, take care of the cemetery.

"Nothing could beat their courage down. They fought for us, for us they died," said Ziegler. After a moment when everyone stood with bowed heads, Commander Gordon Giannotti gave the orders for a gun salute. This was followed by playing "Taps" with an echo from the opposite end of the line.

John Hudicka and Nathaniel Czarnecki played the trumpets.

At Neffs Lutheran Church they were met by state Rep. Gary Day.

Day said, "You don't need me to tell you how important this is. With my presence I show that I appreciate your support." He said the military protects us from outside aggressors.

Linda Nails said she and some friends put the flags on veterans' graves. "I enjoy it. There is a good feeling in coming to this program."

Ziegler said the loved ones left behind need help. Let us make ourselves their friend, brother, son, father, mother, daughter.

"Let us stand with bowed heads for our heroic dead," he said.

At the Seventh Street Cemetery, Slatington, Gina Lakatosh said she comes out each Memorial Day because "we owe it to them."

Whatever the reason that brought people out, it made the members of the American Legion happy when local people participate.

Charles Rowlands and Ziegler put a wreath on Allen O. Delke's grave in Union Cemetery. Delke died Nov. 2, 1918, nine days before the armistice was signed in World War I. The post is named for him.

At United Presbyterian Church there is no cemetery but behind the church is a memorial garden where people may bury the ashes of a person who was cremated. A monument has 12 names on it and more are added as there are more burials.

Let us pledge ourselves anew to patriotic service. Emulate their sacred service so they shall not have died in vain, said Ziegler.

At Friedens Church the Rev. Lunnett Hilliard gave the benediction. She said, "People will leave with new thoughts and new intentions. There is no short cut to peace. Go hopefully and joyfully because God is with us."

At Washington Catholic Cemetery on Monday morning the scouts joined the Legion members and accompanied them to Slatedale.

Members of the American Legion returned to the Post Home to prepare for a parade to Fairview Cemetery where services were held.

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