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Slatington American Legion honors members who died in past year

  • ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Jim Gourniak, Marcy Knappenberger, Dennis Ziegler and Commander Gordon Giannotti participated in an honoring of those Post members who died during the past year.
    ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Jim Gourniak, Marcy Knappenberger, Dennis Ziegler and Commander Gordon Giannotti participated in an honoring of those Post members who died during the past year.
Published November 14. 2011 05:02PM

Members of the Allen O. Delke American Legion Post 16 of Slatington attended a church service at Jacob's Church, Jacksonville, Lynn Township, on Nov. 13. Attending were Legionaires, Auxiliary and Legion Riders.

Ronald Smith, in welcoming the visitors to the church said, "Especially welcome are members of the American Legion, Slatington, who will be doing a presentation." On the written list of announcements it read, "May the Lord bless all of our veterans who served our nation."

The children's message concerned symbols. The most obvious one was a United States flag that makes people think of America. A symbol, explained Judy Poulette, makes people think of something else. Another was Mark Queen's symbol on his jacket that marked him as a past commander of Post 16.

Then Poulette turned to the stained glass windows with the symbol of a harp and told how it related to the Bible.

Among the people making prayer requests was one for "all our service men in harm's way" and another by a grandfather for "a grandson on deployment."

In the morning prayer by Paul Schick was the request for help for "some of our service men who have been injured and need your uplifting."

Pastor John Poulette said the Legion should do their presentation before his sermon which he promised would be no more than seven minutes long. "I don't want people to go to sleep during the presentation but they can for me," he said.

Dennis Ziegler, of the Veterans Day committee of the Legion, said, "We are commemorating the services of veterans of all wars."

He said men and women set aside their civilian life to defend the freedom of all people and their American heritage. People on the supply line were as important as those on the battlefield because without nourishment the military could not fight.

Determination makes better military men because they fight with their minds, hearts and bodies. Out of their blood and sweat we learned of the purpose, of sacrifice, tolerance, bravery and discipline. These are solid foundation stones upon which a great nation is built, said Ziegler.

Commander Gordon Giannotti read the names of Legion Auxiliary members who died during the past year: Ruth Davis, Ruth Muthard, Mary Ellen Reitz, Ethel Rustay and Luella Wasilousy.

As each name was ready Auxiliary President Marcy Knappenberger placed a poppy in the wreath the American Legion had provided.

Knappenberger read the names of Legion members who died and Giannotti placed poppys in the wreath. David Beam, Vietnam; Richard Blose, Korea; Bruce Evans, Vietnam; Edward Fehr, Korea; Richard Harwi, Korea; Paul Henritzy, World War II; Leonard Krause, Korea; David Lewis, Vietnam; Robert Martin, Korea; Clayton Miller, WW II; Jack Minnich, WW II; Homer Moyer, WW II; Joseph Niemkiewicz, Korea; William Parry, WW II; William Partington, Korea; Medardus Rehrig, WW II; Clifford Reph, WW II; William Rettew, Vietnam; James Seaman Jr., WW II; Kerry Steckel, Vietnam; Frederick Werley, WW II; Raymond Wiessner, WW II; Floyd Wilinsky, Korea; John Zeller, WW II and John Zuber, Korea.

Minnich and Moyer were Past Commanders at Post 16. As each name was read Jim Gourniak rang a bell.

Nathaniel Csarnecki and Aiden Burke of Northern Lehigh High School played "Taps."

"Thank you for Post 16," said Poulette as he began his delayed sermon.

The wreath and a basket of flowers were to be taken to the statue outside the Post home in Slatington.

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