Legion schedules two Summit Hill services
American Legion Post 316, Summit Hill, has scheduled two Memorial Day weekend services to honor men and women who served or who are serving in the Armed Forces.
The first service will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at St. Joseph Catholic Church Cemetery, White Bear, while the second one will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, at Ludlow Park.
Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek of Summit Hill will be the keynote speaker at the service to be held in White Bear.
O'Gurek is serving his ninth year as a commissioner and previously was the county prothonotary. Before that, he was Summit Hill's mayor for 10 years, 1985-94.
He is married for the former Siobhan O'Donnell. The couple has two children.
American Legion Post 316 Commander W. Kevin O'Donnell will be the master of ceremonies for the service.
The program will begin with the national anthem, followed by the invocation by the Rev. James Burdess, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Summit Hill.
Student orators will recite "Lincoln's Gettysburg Address," "Logan's General Orders;" and "In Flander's Field."
Summit Hill Mayor Paul McArdle, past commander, will conduct a POW/MIA service, while Post 316 Chaplain Gregory Miller will read the Roll Call of veterans who have passed away since Memorial Day 2011.
The Post 316 firing squad will provide the Salute to the Dead.
The service in Summit Hill will begin one hour prior to the start of the annual Memorial Day Parade in which 91-year-old World War II veteran Christy Lisella will be the grand marshal.
SFC Robert Graver, U.S. Army, Retired, will deliver the keynote address. He entered the Army in October 1959 and retired in November 1981. He served most of his career in law enforcement as a military police investigator and also served as the Army's representative/recruiter to Carbon County from 1973-1979.
SFC Graver served two tours of combat in Vietnam and five years in Germany. While on active duty, he completed 13 military school courses and four years of college. He has been decorated with three Bronze Star medals, the Purple Heart Medal, two Meritorious Service medals, the Army Commendation Medal, seven Good Conduct medals, the RVN Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Service Medal with seven stars and the Gold Recruiters Badge with Sapphire.
After retiring from the Army, he continued to serve his county as an elected member of the Panther Valley School Board. Later, he was appointed by Pa. House of Representatives to the Board of Public assistance in Carbon County.
He is the husband of the former Carol Ann O'Donnell. They have three children and eight grandchildren.
Commander O'Donnell will be the master of ceremonies for the program, which will also include the invocation, student orators, the Roll Call, Salute to the Dead and benediction.
Lisella will also offer the grand marshal's remarks.
After the service, Lisella will ring the former Summit Hill High School bell in Ludlow Park to officially signal the start of the parade.