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Tour honors vets in outlying cemeteries

  • Pastor Lunette Hilliard of Friedens United Church of Christ contributed to the program at her church.
    Pastor Lunette Hilliard of Friedens United Church of Christ contributed to the program at her church.
Published May 29. 2014 02:38PM

In a tour that begins at the little-known Williamstown Cemetery and ends with the service at the Union Cemetery, honor is paid to veterans who have given their all for their country. Along with the members of the American Legion Allen O. Delke Post 16 are the Legion Riders and Sons of the American Legion.

The Williamstown Cemetery is a mile outside Slatington.

The next stop in the Slatington area is at the Seventh Street Catholic Cemetery, which seems to have the largest percentage of veterans based on the number of flags flying over the graves.

Dennis Ziegler, president of the Memorial Day committee, said it is the 94th year the post has held the services at the outlying cemeteries.

Ziegler said, "Our veterans served during many of our country's most difficult eras. Help us to continue in honoring the values they have bestowed on our great nation: loyalty, respect, brotherhood, duty, service, honor and trust in honor of all our veterans."

Fairview was the next stop for the day.

"Again our nation has assembled to honor its heroic dead. A thousand battles of land and sea and air echo the glory of their valiant deeds. Under the quiet sod or beneath the murmuring waves, their bodies sleep in peace. But in the destinies of man, their souls go marching on. Because of them our lives are free; because of them our nation lives."

Pastor Lunette Hilliard brought her own message before the Legion service. She said, "We come to honor them, their courage, their sacrifice, their willingness to put themselves in harm's way for a better cause. May we never forget."

Ziegler said, "When peril threatened and their country called, with what divine self-sacrifice they left their paths of peace to spring to arms, to make their breasts a barricade against the nation's foes. No sorrow for the loved ones left behind could dim the purpose in their souls. No horror of the field or sea or air could beat their courage down. They fought for us, they fell for us."

At United Presbyterian Church the service was held over a beautifully landscaped hillside that provides a place for cremains "In loving memory" with the names added to a roll on the stone as they are added.

"All who stand with us today, will you not consecrate yourselves with us to emulate their sacred service, that those who rest in heroes' graves may not have died in vain.

On Memorial Day the first stop is the Catholic Church on Washington Street. They participate in the four-church combined service in Slatedale.

The next stop is the covered bridge where flowers are scattered in Trout Creek in honor of naval veterans.

They return to the Post home, where the parade to Union Cemetery is formed.

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