Memorial Day observed at American Legion Post 927
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS American Legion Post 927's Commander Thomas Franklin, left, introduced the Legion's Freedom Singers Glee Club. The speakers at the Memorial Day observance were PA State Rep. Rosemary Brown, PA State Rep. Mario Scavello and Monroe County Commissioner Suzanne McCool.
The American Legion Post 927 in Gilbert held a stirring and solemn Memorial Day ceremony.
The haunting sounds of bagpipes greeted guests.
The Post's Ladies Auxiliary's president, Debra Kennelly sang the national anthem and led the Post's Freedom Singers Glee Club in singing "Some Gave All."
Past Commander Ken Giardina read the poem, "The Veteran."
Post Commander Thomas Franklin introduced it's three speakers for the event.
State Rep. Mario Scavello said that we stand in the presence of greatness and it was at the sacrifice of others that has helped make us a great country.
"We gather in their memory."
State Rep. Rosemary Brown told how one of her constituents, a Vietnam veteran, asked for her assistance to identify a 20-year-old soldier standing next to him in a picture. He had not made it home. He told Brown the effect of that on his life.
"So many of our veterans left home and returned a changed spirit," she said.
Brown encouraged everyone to consider purchasing a veterans' license plate because it provides monetary aid to the Pennsylvania Veterans Trust Fund which provides benefits, support and assistance for veterans. She said that Memorial Day is for remembering and honoring our fallen heroes.
"We will never forget."
Monroe County Commissioner Suzanne McCool is the wife of a veteran and the mother of two veterans.
"Today some men and women will be observing Memorial Day as a day off. But today is a solemn event to honor our dead."
She read the poem by Col. John McCrae, "In Flanders Field" and spoke about Mark Bayliss, president of the Valor Clinic Foundation, who is working hard for local homeless veterans. She also spoke about a veterans' discount program now available with businesses in Monroe County.
Businesses that would like to offer discounts to veterans as a way to say 'Thank you', should contact Joel Keller, director of Monroe County Veteran Affairs at (570) 517-3187.
"Freedom isn't free. It's paid with the price of fallen soldiers," said Post Commander Franklin.