American Legion visits 13 cemeteries to honor fallen military
Flags were gently waving over the graves of the fallen soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen. It was a bright, sunny Sunday, a nice day to be out and honoring the fallen.
Dennis Ziegler, president of the Memorial Day committee of American Legion Allen O. Delke, Post 16, Slatington, asked the people from Jacob’s Church, Jacksonville, to “Help us to continue in honoring the values they have bestowed upon our great nation: loyalty, respect, brotherhood, duty, service, honor and trust, in honor of all our veterans.
“A thousand battles of land, sea and air echo the glory of their valiant deeds. Under the quiet sod or beneath the murmuring waves, their bodies rest in peace. Because of them our lives are free. Because of them our nation lives.”
Ziegler announced the salute from the rifle squad would be followed by “Taps,” played by Scott Schaeffer.
He played facing forward and then turned and faced people who were behind the line.
At Ebenezer Church, New Tripoli, Ziegler said it was a beautiful day.
The Rev. Kevin Fruchtl replied enthusiastically, “Yes sir.”
“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,” Ziegler said. “No sorrow for the loved ones left behind could dim the purpose in their souls.”
At Heidelberg United Church of Christ, Ziegler also addressed the gathering.
“Let us not forget the loved ones left behind,” Ziegler said. “Our tears or words of sympathy cannot bring back the comfort of those loving hands or the music of those voices stilled.
“Only the solemn pride of having given more than all the rest is theirs who live to weep.”
Barbara Kresge brought flowers for the grave of her father-in-law, Kennard Kresge Sr., at Union Cemetery, Neffs. Most years she travels on the back of her Legion Rider husband’s motorcycle but this year she was in a car.
At each cemetery a 21-gun salute and “Taps” completed the program.