Heritage Day in Slatington pays tribute to the military
Jason Breidinger, master of ceremonies, stands before the Northern Lehigh Community Band during July 4 Heritage Day program at the Slatington Baptist Church.
George Duell Jr., U.S. army Reserve Ambassador and a former principal at Palmerton Area High School, served as the main speaker during the July 4 Heritage Day program at Slatington Baptist Church.
Duell, who represented Chief, Army Reserve Jeff Talley at the program, talked about the seven values of the military which are also the seven American values.
Those values are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
The Northern Lehigh Community Band, under the direction of Theodore Steinbrecher, played several selections.
Vocal selections were sung by the Northern Lehigh Community Chorus, under the direction of Anna Mary Milot.
The Chorus sang "George M. Cohen Patriotic Fantasy" and "An American Anthem."
Duell attended Kutztown, Temple and Lehigh universities. In his military career he attended the Command and General Staff College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces and National Defense University.
"We pause and remember those who have gone before. We are truly a great nation and are thankful for those who made the sacrifice," said Duell.
He said there are the regular Army and Army Reserve under federal control and the National Guard under the states except in times of a call-up.
"This is Independence Day. Our Army had a lot to do with creating an independence day," he said.
The military has been all-volunteer for 40 years with people going forth to serve their country. All services are at 100 percent of strength.
The Army Reserve in Pennsylvania has 9,000 people and contributes $245 million to the Commonwealth's economy through purchases and wages.
He quoted a few men from history such as Dwight David Eisenhower who said, "Freedom has its life in the heart and must be daily refreshed," and Benjamin Franklin who said, "They who will give up liberty for safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Of the seven values of the military, Duell said of them:
• Loyalty - True faith and allegiance. We are all devoted to someone or something.
• Duty - To fill obligations to do what is right. We have obligations to family, employers, community and church.
• Respect - Being treated like we'd like to be treated. There are two kinds of respect: basic for respect to each other and self-respect from knowing what we do is right.
• Selfless service - They are there not for self but for the nation, to go in harm's way if necessary. We should help the needy, help those who need care.
• Honor -Honoring commitments becomes a matter of life. Those things that are right and proper we stand up for.
• Integrity - What's right and morally upstanding. Isn't that what we want to be. Here in society it affects what we do with friends and family.
• Personal courage - We instill this. It is something you must face up to. We hear over and over the acts of bravery. As civilians we must stand up for what's right.
Duell said that living up to these core values, "You'll make America a better place. It's our heritage, our legacy, our challenge."
Duell said an example is Kevin Schmidt, president of the Chamber of Commerce, who was given a plaque to sign in support of the military and a Patriot's Pin.
The military anthems were sung as people from the particular branch of service or their families stood for recognition.
The Rev. James LeVan's Benediction was preceded by the Athenian oath. Respect for the military is not new. Athens' pledge of allegiance was found on a fourth century stele in Greece.