Slatedale honors fallen veterans
ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Dennis Ziegler from American Legion Post 16, speaker James Anthony, songstress Victoria Lear and the Rev. James Robison await their turns to participate in the Slatedale memorial service.
Following the Rev. James D. Robison's welcome, Victoria Lear, a seventh grade Northern Lehigh Middle School student sang "The Star Spangled Banner." It was her fifth year of sharing her talents, said Robison of Good Shepherd United Church of Christ.
Slatedale's memorial service was held May 27 in a combined service by four churches: Holy Trinity Lutheran, Good Shepherd, St. Peter's United Methodist and Salem United Methodist. Each contributed members to a combined choir.
Robison prayed, "Hear our collective prayers as we remember those who gave their all for our freedom that we might be the spark that brings peace around the world."
"Sacrifice of Love" was sung as members of Boy Scout Troop 66, Cub Scout Pack 58 and Girl Scout Troop 6343 collected an offering. The song is known as the Memorial Day hymn and was sung by the choir.
Robison quoted Abraham Lincoln: "In regards to the great Book, I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it."
The influence of this great book touched Lincoln's heart and conscience in many of his speeches: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
The speaker on this, the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg campaign, is the great great grandson of John Anthony who served as constable in Washington Township, Lehigh County, in the 1850s and served during the Civil War.
His great great grandmother was Esther Anthony whose brother, William Dorwood, also served during the Civil War.
Anthony was raised in Nazareth and commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1981. He retired in 2009. He served several active duty deployments, was judge advocate, a field artillery forward observer and a civil affairs officer. He earned the Bronze Star Medal.
Now Judge Anthony, he was elected to the Lehigh County bench in 2007.
He began by telling of some of those who died from the local area beginning with Private Kress who gave his all during the Civil War. He is buried in Union Cemetery, Slatington. In 1909 the Grand Army of the Republic Post 284 paid for a monument to him.
Allen O. Delke, for whom American Legion Post 16, Slatington, was named died in the Argonne Forest, France, shortly before the war ended.
He mentioned others from the area beginning in Freeland to the north and going to Doylestown in the south.
Memorial Day began when southern women began to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers - and decorated those of Northerners also if they were in the same cemetery. Pres. Lyndon Johnson declared the holiday to cover all military of all wars in 1966 and the name became Memorial Day.
"As we remember and honor them we know that most of them were volunteers," said Anthony. "How do we honor them?
"We vote, we care for our families and for all people. Let us remember and honor our fellow citizens by bring the best we can be."
The Rev. Robison closed the program by saying, "Thank all those who continue to keep this tradition alive."