Slatedale honors our fallen heroes
The Rev. James D. Robison Jr., pastor of Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, Slatington, gave the welcome to those who attended the Memorial Day service at Slatedale Cemetery.
This was the 78th Slatedale service held to honor those who gave their lives.
Victoria Lear, a Northern Lehigh graduate, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Lear is heading to Nashville next week to continue with her music.
Dennis Ziegler presented the message from the American Legion Allen O. Delke Post 16 saying:
“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. In the destinies of men, their souls go marching on. Because of them our lives are free, because of them our nation lives.”
Legion members presented a gun salute, and Scott Schaeffer played “Taps.”
“It is hard to believe that World War I was more than 100 years ago, and we continue to have the freedom that they earned for us,” Robison said.
A combined choir with members from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Good Shepherd UCC and St. Peter’s United Methodist Church sang “A Prayer for our Time.”
Pastor Josh Knappenberger gave the main address, “Remembering.”
A Northern Lehigh graduate, he immediately joined the Army after graduation, attended Airborne School and was assigned to the Old Guard, a ceremonial unit in Washington, D.C.
He is assistant pastor at Zion’s “Liberty Bell” United Church of Christ, Allentown, and director of the Liberty Bell Museum.
He began by reading Psalm 77 with the words, “I will remember the works of the Lord, surely I will remember the wonders of old.”
“How good is your memory?” Do you remember a year ago, a month ago, last week?” he asked. “When I was in basic training, the drill sergeant said things we did not remember and he said them over and over until we remembered.
“We are all frail and we forget things. We make misinterpretations and end up keeping score.
“I am better than you because I did or didn’t do this.” God forgives our transgressions.
“God remembers Noah and Jonah but he did not remember their faults. He remembers the person, not the faults — who they are and what they are. God forgets deeds but remembers people.
“Killing in battle can be a horror but do we remember only the disgrace? Protestors remember the deeds and not the people.
“Remembering someone is to show favor. What are we remembering? The deeds or the people who stood against the enemy” he asked.
“The deeds done on a battlefield are savage. In remembering the people we find hope and life.”
As the military anthems were played, Robison asked members of that unit to stand.